Thursday, July 26, 2018

Competition commission and medical charges

Singapore has a competition law and a commission set up to enforce the law.

The purpose is to ensure that businesses do not collide to increase prices for consumers.

One of the bad decisions taken by the commission is to ask the Singapore Medical Association to remove its guidelines for charges by doctors and specialists.

When the guidelines were removed, the doctors could charge any price that they liked. In the past, if the prices were too high, the SMA would take action against the doctors.

The guidelines did not set a minimum price for doctors. They tell the doctors and the public the reasonable prices to expect.

After the removal of the guidelines, the medical fees went up to high levels. This was one of the key factors for the large increase in medical frees in recent years.

The solution is to allow the medical association to reinstate its guidelines and to play the role of protecting the interest of consumers.

It is ironic that the competition commission, which was supposed to take care of consumers, made a decision that become very bad for consumers.

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