There used to be a guideline on professional fees set by the various bodies. I recall that the Competition Competition asked the doctors to remove the guidelines, so that the fees can be reduced by free market competition. I heard that this was not the outcome of the removal of fees. Some doctors increased their fees, and charged "what they like".
It is not possible for consumers to know what are the fair rates of fees for professional services, and to know the standard of the fees. This has to be set by knowledgeable people who takes into account the interest of the consumers and the professionals. The old arrangement, where the professional bodies provide the guidelines, used to work fairly well.
I suggest that the old arrangement be restored. It should be clear that the fees are guidelines and that professionals can deviate from the guidelines if they have specific reasons and have informed consumers about the deviation and the reason.
Another arrangement is for the Competitions Competition to maintain a website (or outsource the work to an authorized party) showing the fees for various types of standard work that are charged by various professional firms, such as lawyers, doctors and engineers. This will be helpful to consumers who can check the website and get to a professional that charge competitive rates. It will encourage competition and bring down the fees to a reasonable level.
Tan Kin Lian