KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 2017 : There was no delay or demand for payment before treatment by the Sultanah Aminah Hospital Johor Baru (HSA) in the case of a Singaporean man who succumbed to injuries sustained in a hit-and-run traffic incident on Aug 25.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement here today said the ambulance service records showed the emergency call was made at 2.57am and the ambulance left HSA two minutes later.
It arrived at the scene (of the road crash) at 3.10am and departed from the scene with the patient at 3.15am.
The 25-year-old victim was involved in the hit-and-run incident in Johor Baru, just after he and five friends finished supper and were heading towards their car.
In that incident, a Proton Saga had ploughed into the six friends and sped away.
Dr Noor Hisham’s statement follows an allegation by a Singapore-based online news portal that there was slow response time by the ambulance from the HSA, for up to 30 minutes.
The portal also claimed that preliminary medical scans were withheld until friends and family of the victim offered to pay cash upfront, upon the victim’s arrival at the hospital.
Referring to the cash upfront allegation, Dr Noor Hisham said due to the victim’s critical condition, he was admitted to the Red Zone upon arrival at HSA’s Emergency Department, and the emergency treatment as per the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocol initiated by the ambulance team was immediately continued.
He said the Emergency Department also initiated the necessary imaging (primary survey X-rays, CT-scan of brain, cervical and thorax), treatment (including intubation) and referral to the relevant team in a timely and professional manner, without asking for any deposit since it was an emergency case.
“In view of the injury to his brain, the patient was referred to Neurosurgery team, and urgent decompressive craniectomy plus removal of clot and intracranial pressure monitoring was planned without demand for deposit,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said subsequent to this, the victim’s family members arrived and only then they were asked to proceed with payment of the imaging amounting RM2,575.
“However, the family members opted for discharge at on risk (AOR discharge) and arranged for admission to a hospital in Singapore after understanding the risk involved of further delaying the surgery,” he added.
In the light of the portal’s report, Dr Noor Hisham urged all relevant parties to be responsible in reporting and further commenting, as releasing inaccurate information and baseless statement could lead to misunderstanding and disrupting the harmony.
“The ministry of health has always valued life and does its utmost best to treat any patient, regardless of their background or nationality,” he stressed. – Bernama