Listed healthcare firms face daily conflict

History abounds with examples of money clouding judgment, even that of great men.

Deliberate deceit by healthcare professionals for personal financial gain significantly erodes the public's faith in the system. When the outcome is not merely patient harm, but death, the gravity of such misdemeanour is further amplified.

While the malefactor sits out a professional misconduct charge, after which normalcy resumes, the victims' loved ones have to bear a lifetime of grief for what could have been a preventable loss.

Considering the thousands of patient visits and millions of dollars changing hands in public-listed healthcare firms daily, the action of a few black sheep could amount to collective sizeable harm.

Public-listed healthcare firms have an irreconcilable conflict of interest - do they put patients or shareholders first?

Instead of letting such a moral dilemma play out daily and hoping that tragic consequences may be averted or go unreported, perhaps it is time for a policy to recalibrate this anomaly.

Li Ze Zong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'Listed healthcare firms face daily conflict'. Print Edition | Subscribe