Treat doctors with respect

I would like to encourage members of the public to appreciate the medical services performed by our local doctors (Ensure doctors learn from their mistakes, by Ms Charlotte Lowe; and Tag doctors who were disciplined on public register, by Mr Edwin Tan; both published on Oct 17).

General practitioners today are under tremendous pressure.

While they are recognised for their competency and general medical diagnostic skills, they are also expected to possess skills and perform tasks better suited to a specialist.

This is unfair to the GP, as he may be held liable for any unnecessary risks taken.

Many doctors are also expected to work 12-hour shifts, whether at GP clinics or as young doctors undergoing training in hospitals.

Mistakes like poor bedside manners and filing and accounting errors should be reviewed in the proper context of patient care, provided they are not serious Penal Code offences such as fraud, forgery and gross negligence.

Whether the doctor is a GP or a specialist, we should try and understand their challenges and treat them with respect.

George Lim Heng Chye

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'Treat doctors with respect'. Print Edition | Subscribe