After two pedestrians were killed and four others injured during a car accident at Lucky Plaza, many netizens took to social media questioning why the victims were sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) instead of Mount Elizabeth Hospital which was nearest.
TTSH is approximately 3.1km away from Lucky Plaza, while Mount Elizabeth Hospital is barely 50 metres, or a minute’s walk, away from the scene of the accident.
Many observers suggested that the victims should have been sent to Mount Elizabeth Hospital immediately, instead of rushing them to TTSH which was further away.
According to a statement from Mount Elizabeth Hospital, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has a specific list of medical providers to whom they will send patients to.
Because Mount Elizabeth Hospital is not on that list, it will not be activated by the SCDF even if an accident occurs within close proximity.
In a media statement, the hospital also clarified that their 24-hour A&E department is open to all patients, regardless of who they are, and that their A&E team would have responded immediately, had they been activated or informed of the accident.
However, they also added that while it is capable of treating emergencies, it is not set up to treat severe traumatic conditions.
Mount Elizabeth Hospital’s full statement is as follows:
We are saddened to hear of the car crash incident that happened outside Lucky Plaza yesterday. Our condolences go out to the families of the two victims who lost their lives. We also wish the other victims a speedy recovery.
Our 24-hour A&E department is open to all patients, regardless of who they are. We will even despatch our staff to attend to emergencies via our ambulance service. Our A&E team would have reacted immediately to help stabilise the injured while waiting for the SCDF to arrive, had we been activated. We learned later from news reports that the SCDF responded swiftly to the casualties.
Our hospital and ambulance services are not part of the SCDF’s list of medical providers. This means that the hospital will not be activated by the SCDF even if such an incident is within close proximity. While the hospital is capable of treating emergencies, it is not set up like the restructured hospitals for severe traumatic conditions, which include multiple trauma and extensive burns.
Dr Noel Yeo
Chief Executive Officer
Mount Elizabeth Hospital