The Society of Mediation Professionals (Singapore) organised a webinar, “Healthcare Mediation – Physicians, Patients & Peacemaking”, conducted over Zoom on the evening of 26 October 2020. The webinar was moderated by SMP ExCo member, Mr Loong Seng Onn with a panel of experts comprising legal and medical professionals: Ms Kuah Boon Theng SC, Dr Joseph Sheares, Assoc. Prof. Devanand Anantham and Ms Choo Jin Hua.
As the audience also consisted of a significant number of medical professionals who were less familiar with mediation, the evening started off with a discussion on the key features and benefits of healthcare mediation. Ms Choo also made a quick introduction to the healthcare mediation scheme managed by the Mediation Unit, MOH Holdings.
The webinar addressed the special features of healthcare mediation and, the attributes and skills required of good healthcare mediators. There was a robust discussion on whether healthcare mediators ought to have a medical or legal background. The panelist also discussed whether it was useful for healthcare mediators to actually advise disputants on the merits of their cases and to provide possible options for settlement. Another interesting topic discussed was whether healthcare disciplinary cases could or should be mediated.
What was particularly insightful and interesting was that the panelists drew on their mediation experience and shared ‘war stories’ of their more interesting cases and what they learnt from them. For instance, Ms Kuah shared a very touching story of how, through the mediation process, a mother who lost a child, was afforded the opportunity to move towards closure. Dr Sheares shared a case which illustrated the power of genuine expressions of remorse and also how mediation could come up with creative solutions. These were some of the cases discussed in an informative and entertaining evening.
The webinar, which was oversubscribed, was very well received by the participants. The evening ended with a post-webinar discussion on SMP membership.
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