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Why are doctors so special?

6 Dec

Bertha Harian

Why does it look like the Singapore Medical Council is a law unto its own? I refer to a commentary in ST today which says that the SMC has “refused to divulge if its income comes entirely from its 11,000 members, or whether it has separate government funding’’. I wish the newspaper told its readers if its refusal was to questions from the media, or whether it is a general blanket “no comment’’. It’s probably the latter.

Unlike the Singapore Dental Council, the SMC doesn’t list its income or disbursements in its annual reports. No financial information at all. The Dental council gets G funding (not much: about $180,000 for 2013) and puts down its registration fees in total. So what is happening in SMC? All we know now is that doctors who want to renew their practising licence pay $400. So that’s $4,400,000 every year. What about G funding?…

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Are you all worked up – yet?

11 Jun

Bertha Harian

People are getting all worked up these days. I wasn’t at Hong Lim Park for the Return My CPF protest but I gather it was quite a “riot’’. So I read media reports on what happened, including the one in ST. The trouble with reportage is that it makes everything reasonable. It’s the way news is written. You try to make sense even of non-sense, because you want the reader to understand what’s been written. It is not in the nature of news reporting to report all the bells and whistles, side-shows, rants and raving. For that, you need “colour’’ writing. And even that is tough because you might well be seen as identified with, or on the side of, the revelry or occasion. And you can’t very well be “colouring’’ the report with your own views. Because that would be comment.

So, people have to resort to video, preferably un-censored. I…

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Image of the Week: Convincing Facts

1 Feb

Can we post this everywhere in the clinic? Please?

Wellcome Trust Blog

L0057953 Framed poster advocating vaccination against smallpox, Engla

How do you convince people that they should do something? Especially if it is something they don’t want to do, or they don’t believe in?

Perhaps with capital letters, powerful statistics, and exclaiming ‘Convincing Facts!’ to make sure everyone pays attention. That is the approach used in this week’s image.

This framed poster appeared as an article in The Times on 25 July 1923, when a smallpox epidemic was raging across Gloucester. The Times had previously implored people to be vaccinated against the disease: the paper’s medical correspondent wrote in 1922 that campaigns opposing smallpox vaccination were ‘stupid and mischievous propaganda… (with) evil effects’.

This poster demonstrates a slightly different approach, marshalling statistics to try and persuade ‘those who disbelieve in vaccination’ to think again.

The poster’s striking appearance, with arresting capital letters, is designed to stress the gravity of the matter. In 1896, over 400 people had died in…

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Hello world!

25 Jul

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
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