On doctors' fees and CPF changes


The week has seen a flurry of news that drew comment from experts.

Top on the agenda of the nation was the Prime Minister’s National Day Rally Speech, where he spoke on the need for Singaporeans to recognise and reward people for the work they do - not their paper qualifications.

This prompted Institute of Policy Studies’ senior research fellow Gillian Koh to write about the importance of making the vocational ladder on par with the academic one. She referred to the Swiss system, where education and training system  is guided by the principle of "permeability", allowing people to cross from one to the other easily.

Making vocational ladder on par with the academicPM Lee Hsien Loong also paid tribute to a driver, a humble man who did his work conscientiously. The son of that driver is a senior Berita Harian editor today.  Mohd Zulkifli Rahmat  wrote this article to pay tribute to his dad:

Son of Lee Kuan Yew's former driver pays tribute to late fatherPM Lee also spoke about improving the Central Provident Fund system so people have more retirement savings. He promised a new Silver Support annual bonus scheme for low-income elderly with low CPF savings, no assets and no family support.

Could this be the start of a kind of national pension for poor elderly? Two academics Christopher Gee and Yap Mui Teng say it’s a most welcome move to have a first pillar of old-age income support.

Adding a first pillar to old-age income support

Another issue that dominated discussion in The Straits Times was on doctors’ fees in the private sector.

Were they too high? Should fee guidelines removed in 2007 be restored?

Health consultant Jeremy Lee, a trained surgeon himself, says Yes.

Fee guidelines are like speed limitsAll in, a busy week of news and views in The Straits Times Opinion pages.stopinion@sph.com.sgTwitter @stopinionOpinion Editor Chua Mui Hoong blogs here weekly.