Compromising the Singapore Brand

We have branded ourselves as the best in education, an education hub, and also in healthcare, a medical hub, to attract students and medical tourists for the fees they are willing to pay. They came and still coming, for the quality associated with the Singapore Brand.

The private schools sector has received quite a fair share of bad publicity. Now the medical profession is looking like the next candidate to tarnish the well built reputation of the Singapore Brand.

I have heard of countries lowering the standard of entry to medical schools to churn out more native doctors. But the standard has gone down so low that the better informed would avoid the local graduates for their own good.

Not that we have lowered our standards for the same purpose. We have raised our standard so high that many straight As students could not even enter local medical schools. They ended up overseas in some of the best medical schools available in the West. They are excellent doctors whether from our local universities or overseas. That is the kind of standard expected of the Singapore Brand. We have our best in medicine.

The grouses in the media are that we are mixing this elite core of highly qualified professionals with foreign imports of doubtful qualities. And the fear of fake degrees is even more frightening. This rojak of the best and the dubious is going to burn down our shining Singapore Brand in healthcare and, if not careful, destroy the medical hub that we have painstakingly built over the years.

Are we in a hurry for numbers, quick profit and ended up compromising the quality of our healthcare? Are we putting the patients at risk in the hands of quacks or poorly qualified medical professionals?

I hope not. I hope we still have a little commonsense left not to mix shit with good food and spread it around to the innocent and ignorant customers. Or has the rot already started?


Anonymous said...

most foreign-originated docs, esp specialists, at local hospitals. have added qualifications from well established unis in UK, US, to reinforce their basic med degrees. by and large, they do make positve contributions to our health service

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

When education is turned into a biz, pay and you get your degree. Many western universities are adopting a very liberal admission policy to earn cash for themselves.

Some are still very stringent and uphold their standard fiercely. Some compromise a little. At the worst level, you just pay and not even have to attend the 'university' to get a degree.

Anonymous said...

After more than 25 years, our MOE is still cutting out top Singaporean students wanting to do medicine in NUS.
I am for more Singaporean doctors.
It is difficult for foreign doctors to have that important emotional link in ministering Singaporean patients. I find most Singaporean doctors are kind and patient especially GPs. They can relate well, with the few words of Hokkien, Cantonese, Malay, etc words of assurance and encouragement especially to the older patients and aged.
Likewise this is also true for nursing care.

Mr Chua you have brought out important points. The downside risk with current more foreign doctors policy is high and also unfair.

notanotherspinstory said...

It is a sacrilege to dilute our Singapore brand with foreign quacks.
I'm not against the real stuff, but against the fake and mediocre.

Anonymous said...

When news spread that they are paying for quacks, that will be the end of our medical hub.