UPDATE: Ng Teng Fong has responded to this publication saying that they are aware of the alleged incident and that they were looking into this case.
“The facts of the matter need time to be ascertained and we have engaged the patient’s next-of-kin and will continue to do so, in order to investigate, clarify and account for this alleged incident,” the hospital’s spokesperson said.
Jenny Ho recounted in her Facebook how her father who is admitted to Ng Teng Fong Hospital (NTFH) tried to use the nurse call button to indicate that he was in pain, but that it did not function because it was not plugged on to a power source. She claimed that the nurses were negligent in caring for her father.
Jenny’s father was moved from Jurong Community Hospital to NTFH on 3 May and was admitted to an isolation ward. The next evening at about 6pm, he had pain in his abdomen and he tried calling for help using the nurse call button. Despite pressing the button for about 30 minutes, no help came.
He told a relative who came to visit him at about 6.45pm that the device was not working. His relative then tried using the burse call button, which is also a multi-function device, to turn on the television in the room. To his surprise he discovered that it was not working because it was not connected to a power source.
When the relative called in a nurse to question, she tried to pin the blame on the patient suggesting that he may have pulled the plug himself. Jenny who described her father as an “old, frail man who even struggles to hold a cup of water”, said that he was incapable of pulling the chords which were not easy to pull-off in the first place.
His relative dissatisfied with the nurses explanation unplugged the device when the nurse was still there, and to his surprise it set off a warning siren to alert the hospital staff. The relative also observed that it set-off warning blinker-lights at the nurses station outside the ward.
According to Jenny the nurse, Shea Chea Fong, claimed that the nurses would not be able to hear the sirens from outside of the ward. Jenny asked, “what about the lights then?”
The nurse however did not want to take responsibility for the negligence and also did not want to apologise, Jenny said. When the nurse was told that the matter would be escalated to the hospital’s senior management, she allegedly told them curtly, “go ahead!”
Jenny said that just because her father was not in a top-notch hospital it does not mean that he does not deserve care and help.
The fact that he was in an isolation ward meant that his medical condition was not good and so he needed a hundred percent attention from the medical staff who are attending to him, she said.
“What if he was having an episode of heart attack? Would the hospital take this responsibility of negligence?”, Jenny asked.
Jenny who demanded an apology from the hospital said that she was bringing up the matter to create awareness about the poor care the hospital accords to its patients.
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