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Free market unhealthy for health-care sector

The Straits Times | Monday, Aug 18, 2014

I fully agree with Dr Tang Kok Foo ("Reasons for soaring private health-care costs"; Thursday) that the free market for private health care has to be reined in, and the unhealthy practice of doctors competing against one another to charge higher fees should be stopped.

Medical care cannot be subjected to market forces.

When you are sick, you do not have the luxury of time to "shop around" for the lowest prices. Patients are at the mercy of doctors and will pay whatever fee the doctor charges.

Insurance policies that pay medical bills as they are charged worsen the problem. Where does that leave those who cannot afford such policies?

Public health care is not the solution as public hospitals are already bursting at the seams.

Dr Tang also does not see much sense in paying ever increasing rentals.

Who benefits from that, apart from the landlord? What has changed to the piece of land on which the hospital sits, or the building itself, that justifies such rental increases? And who bears the brunt of such increases, apart from the patients?

It is high time the authorities looked into rising costs and their knock-on effects. Affordable medical care should be available to everyone.

David Lim Yoke Peng


This article was first published on August 16, 2014.
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