The toxic environment that breeds defensive medicine

Defensive medicine raises costs and corrodes the central doctor-patient relationship. Studies show doctors resort to this when the operating environment gets uncertain and excessively punitive.

The issue of defensive medicine has come into the public spotlight following several incidents of doctors being excessively penalised for their practices.

This has led Health Minister Gan Kim Yong to acknowledge in Parliament on April 1 that certain recent "concerns, if unresolved, will, over time, engender the practice of defensive medicine".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2019, with the headline 'The toxic environment that breeds defensive medicine'. Print Edition | Subscribe