A friend was horrified last week when she first read the story of Dr Susan Lim and details of the fees that she had charged a member of the Brunei royal family.
Yesterday, after she read what I had posted on my blog, she emailed me and seemed to have turned a little philosophical. She said:
"What I am amazed after reading the Sunday Times report is what some of the witnesses (all doctors) say are the "acceptable" rates a specialist can charge.
"No wonder so many doctors are driving around in flashy cars. I guess some may feel it is justified when young banking/financial industry officers earn so much money without having spent years acquiring the skills which specialists do.
"So sad that everyone has become so mercenary.
"I guess if we want to lay blame on someone, it is that this is the Singapore society that has been created when we started paying politicians in office the 'obscene' salaries, as otherwise they "will not be able to persuade" talented souls to serve the nation.
"So it is all about money.....................can we blame Susan Lim???"
Of course, there will be people who will agree or disagree with my friend's view. But the most amazing comment I have read on Facebook is one which says that Dr Lim is a victim of a witchhunt.
My own view is that it is simply a case that concerns a moral and ethical issue. Any reasonable person reading about the mind-boggling fees, I believe, would have come to just one conclusion.
That, obviously, is why the Health Ministry made the complaint of overcharging against Dr Lim to the Singapore Medical Council.