By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
ST reported today that nurses at Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic have given a wrong jab to a 32-year-old housewife Karen Koh.
Ms Koh was earlier bitten by a dog and went to the polyclinic to seek treatment.
She was supposed to be administered with a tetanus jab but was instead given a typhoid one.
Apparently one nurse had taken the vaccine to Ms Koh and another administered the jab. Neither had bothered to check if the correct vaccine was administered.
The polyclinic only told her about the error the next day.
A team from the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), which Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic comes under, was quickly assembled and met her to explain what had happened and to apologise.
NHGP explained that the nurse had been “distracted” while administering the wrong vaccine to the patient. As such, she did not check before administering the jab. The nurse had failed to follow protocol that required her to use the electronic immunisation system to verify the vaccine before administering it.
NHGP further said that the packaging for the two vaccines does look alike.
Dr Lew Yii Jen, NHGP senior director of clinical services, checked on Ms Koh and said she had not suffered from any side effects from the typhoid jab.
In any case, Ms Koh did not subsequently get the tetanus jab.
After the incident, Ms Koh asked for a full refund but only managed to get back $25 for the injection. The $12.60 consultation fee was not refunded.
Last night, probably knowing that Ms Koh story would be printed in the media, NHGP relented and said it would refund the $12.60 consultation fee.
NHGP told the media that it will “refund the full consultation fees as an act of goodwill, even though consultation services had been provided and the doctor had managed Madam Koh appropriately”.
It’s indeed strange for NHGP to claim that Ms Koh was managed appropriately when she was given the wrong vaccine jab in the first place.
NHGP forms the primary healthcare arm of the National Healthcare Group (NHG). Its nine polyclinics serve a significant proportion of the population in the central, northern and western parts of Singapore.
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