The impending introduction of the medical fee benchmark will serve us well in keeping medical costs transparent (Let free market mechanism set doctors' fees; by Dr Yik Keng Yeong; Jan 23).
Unlike other services, medical services are essential. We cannot do without them.
Nobody can claim to have never required the services of a doctor, but one can live one's whole life without seeking the services of a lawyer, an architect, an engineer andmany others.
It is easy to define a free economy in an idealised situation as a "do what you want" scenario.
But we also need a coordinated market model with regulations and guidelines, such as the upcoming medical fee benchmark listing, to correct any imbalances in order to achieve a more desirable social outcome.
We should look at medical services as one of the basic must-have elements needed for a sustainable life, besides roofs over our heads and the food we consume.
Clara Ng Wai Soon (Ms)