I refer to Mr Elgin Toh Ming Yang's letter on "Why great doctors deserve top dollar"
in ST Forum of 27 April 2004.
Great doctors are highly respected for their noble spirit in saving lives, as well as giving hope and bringing joy to the
sick and their families when a life is saved. In this definition, great doctors refer to those who show great love and
compassion for their fellowmen.
Certainly, great doctors deserve top dollar. The question is: Can anyone put a price tag to a human life? If great doctors
are only keen to save lives for handsome monetary rewards, they are no better than killers.
In those stories of ancient famous Chinese Physicians, these great men had chosen the arduous path of becoming doctors
because of their love for medicine and desire to save lives. Unlike the commoners, they were contented with their decent
lifestyles. Indeed, they were blessed with a pair of "medicine" hands to save lives and not using them for "gold digging".
Undoubtedly, doctors are inevitably human beings who behave according to a myriad of attitudes, mindsets, philosophies and
goals in life. Mr Toh's two truths about their mindsets might only apply to some doctors who behave like many Singaporeans,
chasing after the materialistic 5Cs.
From the SARS incidents, we have also witnessed for ourselves the presence of heroic doctors who are great men with immense
compassion to step forward to save lives. If they are ready to risk their lives, they will not leave for greener pasture,
after all they are humans and not animals that need to eat greener grass.
I hope that my observation about the noble spirit of our local doctors is accurate. It is important for parents to
instill the right moral values into their children if they are blessed with a pair of "medicine" hands.
Posted on 13 May 2004
Footnote : To read the letter in ST Forum, please click here.