Zero-negligence in hospitals and not Chua Soi Lek’s “medical mistakes inevitable”

The Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek’s statement in the press yesterday that “medical mistakes are inevitable” however careful the doctors are is most regrettable and must be deplored by all MPs as it is tantamount to giving a blank cheque for hospital negligence endangering lives and welfare of the people seeking medical treatment.

We claim to want to be a first-world developed nation which is not matched by a first-world mentality and mindset, such as making an important distinction between mistakes and negligence in hospital. The former is understandable and acceptable but the latter, i.e. negligence, is totally unacceptable and unforgivable.

Tragic cases like the baby girl Lai Yok Shan who lost her left forearm because of a chain of negligence at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang or a private hospital nurse Kalaiyarasi Perumal, 44, who went through the nightmare of a pair of forceps left in her abdomen after an operation at the Sultan Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru cannot be accepted as unavoidable incidents.

Yok Shan was born two months premature on July 23, 2007 and kept in an incubator and on a ventilator. When her condition deteriorated, it was decided to give her strong antibiotics which could only be administered intravenously.

A trainee doctor who received instructions over the telephone from the specialist doctor on duty administered the injection. The trainee doctor inserted the needle into muscles and tissues instead of blood vessel in the arm. This caused the baby’s arm to be infected.

It is clear that there is a chain of irresponsibility and negligence resulting in Yok Shan having to lose her arm, involving the trainee doctor, the specialist doctor, the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, the Ministry of Health and even the panel of medical specialists announced by Chua on August 9 to save Yok Shan’s left arm.

This was because Lai’s parents were told that Yok Shan would undergo an operation expected to last from two to four hours to amputate her left arm, but in actual fact, no amputation was needed as the blackened arm came off when the orthopaedic surgeon lifted and turned it.

Although the Health Ministry has admitted liability for Lai Yok Shan losing her left forearm, the Minister should give a full account in Parliament as to how such hospital negligence could occur, as this is a matter of public interest and not just a private matter between the Ministry and the Lai family concerned — furthermore we want to ensure that there will not be a recurrence of such negligence.

Hospital negligence has destroyed the life of Yok Shan who will have to live with this man-made disaster in a life-span of 70 to 80 years. I call on the Health Minister to ensure that the government pays a proper compensation to Yok San — not a paltry sum of RM60,000 that is now being offered.

Religious teacher Bashah Mustaffa who was given HIV-contaminated blood during a transfusion in Jitra Hospital seven years ago has been awarded RM450,000 by the Alor Star High Court and is appealing against the amount.

The Health Minister and the Attorney-General should do justice to Yok Shan caused by the shocking negligence of the Klang hospital personnel with a compensation of at least RM2 million.

(Speech on 2008 Budget Health Ministry estimates in Parliament on 3.12.07)

  1. #1 by Godfather on Monday, 3 December 2007 - 4:42 pm

    Life is cheap for the commoner in Bolehland. However, the UMNO elite live in a vastly different world.

    Badawi can frolick around in Perth and elsewhere through the use of a brand new A320 jet, which was bought by a government agency and leased to the government. Some AP beneficiaries commute in helicopters. A company owned by Razak Baginda makes a few hundred million in commissions from a defence deal, but don’t worry, the government didn’t pay the commission, the sellers of the second-hand submarines did. Rosmah goes to New York shops until her limousine is full. The AirAsia directors frolick around in their new Porsches. Even the maverick UMNO politician Zaid Ibrahim has at least 6 cars all with the number plate 33. Raja Zakaria has a 21 room mansion with two golf holes, which aren’t enough, so he applies to alienate government land next to his mansion. Daim buys banks in several countries in Africa and teams up with Temasek to buy a bank in Indonesia. UMNO Selangor sells land to the Port Klang Authority at inflated prices, and gets a Federal Ministry to “support” the debt.

    Over RM 200 million to compensate Gerbang Perdana for work done (or not done) on the crooked bridge project. RM 21 million to repair leaks that should never have happened in government buildings. RM 600 million (and counting) for the new Istana.

    Alas, the story with commoners is different. RM60,000 for a baby whose life is ahead of her, but with only one arm due to government negligence. RM450,000 for a life sentence that started 7 years ago due to government negligence.


  2. #2 by smeagroo on Monday, 3 December 2007 - 4:47 pm

    Can the rakyat chip in Rm500000 and gv to Chua Soi Lek and then ask him to go get a HIV jab?

  3. #3 by Godfather on Monday, 3 December 2007 - 5:22 pm

    Ask Chan Kong Choy if the bailout of the PKFTZ at RM 4.6 billion is also inevitable.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Monday, 3 December 2007 - 5:31 pm

    Can the rakyat chip in Rm500000 and gv to Chua Soi Lek..?

    That half million ringgit should be put into a trust fund for the poor girl and the Big Fella In The Sky will one day present Chua Sial Lek with a HIV jab FOC. Chua must know that the RM60,000 offered as compensation for the amputated arm is a cruel joke which is laughable even by 3rd world standards

  5. #5 by HJ Angus on Monday, 3 December 2007 - 11:53 pm

    There is no doubt that our hospitals are poorly staffed and so incidents like this will occur.

    The authorities should do more to make those doctors who were sent abroad on scholarships to return and do their national service so that hospitals will be more adequately staffed.

    As for the quantum, RM60k does appear a paltry sum. A more reasonable amount would be RM200k.

  6. #6 by raven77 on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 12:07 am

    This Minister has no sense of accountability at all but preaches accountability to the private sector all the time…..government hospital services are shoddy and crumbling but he and his monkeying advisors have no clue at all what they are doing……but what can you expect of the MCA………they are seriously short of talent….so this baby and all other Malaysians must suffer the consequences……maybe patients, doctors and nurses included should march to parliment…….to highlight to our dear Prime Minister that Sammy is not the only one not doing his job……

  7. #7 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 7:18 am

    That means the rakyat cannot expect good medical service from government hospitals, right?

  8. #8 by wits0 on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 7:54 am

    This Dr. Chua Soi Lek neither have the right things to say nor even a good smile like his predecessor who was not a doctor. Been saying all those typically crummy things as Vice President of MCA.

  9. #9 by kcb on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 7:57 am

    If the “medical mistakes” were to happen to him or his immediately family members, I wonder if he would still hold the same opinion!

  10. #10 by Jimm on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 9:55 am

    To BN governemnt, rakyat are only numbers.
    The rakyat monies which mostly contributed by those working are meant to be spend and also shared with royal families.
    Mistakes are not serious unless it’s involving their only members only.
    Afterall, CSL is only fulfiiling the seat requirement accordingly to BN policies and not for rakyat.

  11. #11 by madmix on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 11:01 am

    Chua said that the patient trusted the hospital, that is why they go there for treatment. It is exactly because of this that the hospital is liable because the hospital and doctors have breached this very trust. As a doctor himself he should know that if negligence is proven, one has to pay. He should just keep quiet and let the corts decide.

  12. #12 by cto on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 2:13 pm

    Relative to the millions spent on the angkasawan’s joyride, what is RM2 million for baby who is going to spend the rest of her life without one arm?

  13. #13 by helpless on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 - 10:57 am

    Is anyone has news from corrupted BN, MCA member CKC on PKFZ issues?

  14. #14 by wits0 on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 - 2:05 pm

    Expect this Chua Soi Lek to continue to say more dumb things in future.

  15. #15 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 - 5:26 pm

    No wonder his comrade Chan has to fly out of the country to just seek a medical examination!!!!!

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