We refer to Dr Mona Tan's letter (Why the difference in treatment of fees for lawyers and doctors?; Dec 6).
The publication of fee benchmarks is part of a larger strategy to ensure that healthcare costs remain affordable and our healthcare system sustainable for current and future generations of Singaporeans.
The Ministry of Health appointed the Fee Benchmarks Advisory Committee to develop the approach and recommend a set of reasonable fee benchmarks for medical procedures and services.
Over 10 months, the committee studied data such as actual transacted fees and inflation figures, sought views from technical experts and considered factors such as the complexity of a procedure and the time, effort and expertise required for typical cases.
It also consulted more than 120 private sector doctors from different specialities, many of whom were nominated by private hospitals, professional bodies and medical societies because they were well-respected leaders who could represent the views of their communities.
The committee met them over 12 sessions and sought their feedback on a preliminary set of benchmarks.
In addition, it engaged the professional bodies, health insurers, healthcare providers, regulators and consumer advocacy groups.
Overall, the process was rigorous. It took into account the interests and perspectives of different stakeholders, and ensured that the recommended benchmarks are fair and robust.
We thank all stakeholders, including Dr Mona Tan, who had participated and provided valuable feedback at the consultation sessions.
Lim Siok Peng (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Health