Corruption can be defined in several ways and the ultimate outcome is an illegal or a morally unacceptable gain to the perpetrator at the expense of his/her victim and so here is one form of corruption where the lowlife gained so much out of someone’s misery (read here).
For a professional’s services, costing will be dependent on a number of parameters like rental of buildings,cost of equipment and maintenance, staff emoluments, consumables , the level of expertise and the types, period and hours of services. On many instances a guideline is prepared by the relevant professional bodies to consider, for example, market forces. And in professions such as legal and medical, the question of ethics also comes into play when you charge your clients.
It is interesting in Dr Susan Lim’s case which started way back in 2007 when the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) disciplinary committee found her guilty of professional misconduct and suspend her from practice for three years and some meagre fine following which she appealed to the high court and later to the highest court in the land , both of which upheld the SMC’s punishment which now she must serve.
I followed this case closely as I wanted to know why a clever and bright female doctor who was well-respected and sounded caring (in her youtube postings) would stoop so low as to overcharge her client an astronomical amount of $24.8 m (approx: RM50 m). Granted that the client is the sister-in-law of one of the world’s richest men and a royalty to boot. This itself could have fed her greed as she thought these people have a bottomless pit of money!
The said royal lady died after 110 “treatment days” possibly due to the terminality of her disease despite the heroic practice of the “duty of care” by the seemingly caring doctor. Indeed by prolonging her life, the doctor would have made more money!
Abusing her position of trust, she dug deep into the royalty’s coffer, by the way, all the treatment charges were supposed to be settled by the palace and not the individual patient. To me this extreme overcharging is a form of corrupt behaviour.
Actually if you followed her case closely, she acted unprofessionally, in fact she defrauded the patient by altering the fee charges of other doctors to whom she referred the patient during the course of care under her. The Specialist concerned would send the bill to Susan Lim and he would charge, for example $9000.00, Susan Lim would then add another zero to make it $90,000.00! And billed it to the Brunei Palace. Gosh, the woman is a real opportunistic crook.
I think it was not that the Brunei Palace could not settle the amount, it was the thought of being defrauded that led them to complain and teach the doctor a lesson in professional integrity. At the same time to serve as a warning to other likely to be greedy doctors in the Island State.
Susan Lim is a disgrace to the medical profession. And the court concluded that her case is one of the worst if not the worst in the history of “professional misconduct” or “unethical behaviour” that it has ever come across; and to think that medicine is a noble profession.
I have heard stories about medical treatment in Singapore. Usually wealthy patients whose diseases which are mostly cancers, have been diagnosed as terminal by Malaysian doctors would troop to Singapore and pay hundreds of thousands of ringgit and only to return home still dying.