Friday, June 25, 2010

Obesity - a KPI? How silly can you get?

Mr Liak Teng Lit, CEO of Alexandra Hospital and the coming Khoo Teck Puat Hospital was reported as saying "....All things being equal, if you are grossly obese, we won't promote you."

My goodness! Obesity as a work KPI (key performance indicator)!

Innovative? Definitely.
Attention grabbing? Most certainly.

But it is the height of arrogance, silliness and preposterousness to even consider such an option. Mr Liak should read the CDC feature, as well as the recent article in Newsweek Magazine, "The Real Cause of Obesity. It's not gluttony. It's genetics. Why our moralizing misses the point."

Perhaps Mr Liak should also penalize those who can't pass their IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test). Not to mention the elderly, myopes, diabetics and hypertensives as well.


angry doc said...

I have a lot of respect for Liak - not as a person because I don't know him personally, but as an achiever of targets.

I'm not sure this is a good move, but it is probably a considered one.

While I don't think that obesity is a big factor when it comes to performance of clinical duties, nor do I subscribe to the notion that doctors should set good examples for their patients, I do think that blaming one's genes for obesity is lame. Unless one has genes that allow one to photosynthesise or otherwise manufacture fat without one eating...

gigamole said...

Don't get me wrong, I got nothing against the man. Just that to tie work performance to what may be constitutive problems is monumentally insensitive and arrogant. I am not saying genetics isn't often overused as an excuse, but there are real constitutive difficulties that people struggle with, and to reward performance at work according to one's body shape is just not on.

Some people are fat, sometimes pathologically so. They suffer because of that enough without someone at work punishing them for it.

auntielucia said...

I know Lit. He's neither pompous nor unkind. I think he was talking off the cuff and didn't expect the reporter to blow it up. This will make him more cautious abt reporters in future. Pity!

angry doc said...

Knowing 'journalists'... The interview probably covered many topics, but they seized on the one topic that will cause a stir.

Liak should have learnt the lesson Joe Sim was taught a year ago:

angry doc said...

Sorry, wrong link.

gigamole said...

Sometimes, people do make comments off the cuff, and do get misquoted. That's why interviewees are often coached to stick to 3 points and not to get distracted by the interviewer to comment on anything beyond the major 3 points.

No, Mr Liak is a very seasoned interviewee, and I believe those comments were deliberate ones, and what is worrying is what it revealed about his ideology.

Probably same with Joe Sim.