Cockcroach and Blood Stained Blankets in Hospital

Letter by Ganesh

My wife recently delivered our baby in Pantai Hospital Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Being a premium hospital situated ideally to cater to the Damansara Heights and Bangsar affluent residents, one would expect minimum standards of service and hygiene to be practiced.

I was appalled to find that the hospital had blood stained blankets and was infested with cockroaches.

Our nightmare began on the first day we checked in at about 1 pm. That evening, the hospital forgot to serve the tea time snack and also the dinner meal. When asked why, they could not give a proper explanation and had just said, “sudah lupa”.

My room was a brand new room that was just set up for a new patient. Initially, there were no blankets. My wife who was admitted, was freezing in the room for several hours. I had to ask several times for blankets to be given. However, when the blankets did come, the blankets were heavily stained with dried blood and urine. Refer to the enclosed picture. The staff nurse confirmed it was dried blood. I was shocked beyond believe. I immediately asked the nurses for an explanation but they were unable to give me a reasonable explanation. I demanded for the blankets to be changed.

Whilst waiting for the blankets to be changed, which was taking over an hour, my wife and I were freezing in the cold again. I was was worried of the cold, as only a few hours later my wife would have to go for her caesarian operation. I went out to the nurses counter only to find that the nurses were going through countless of blankets, individually, only to find, all of them stained also. I was even more shocked that they could not find a clean blanket. Mind you, the room was a Deluxe Single costing RM388 and one would expect some sort of quality of service and hygiene standards practised.

The next day, after my wife’s caesarian operation, with her wound still raw and painful, she had another shocking experience. She saw a cockroach walking on her maternity pads kept in the ensuite bathroom. Maternity pads are sanitary pads for women who have just delivered. Refer to the picture taken. She called for me and I killed it and flushed it down the toilet.

Several hours later, with her wound still raw and bleeding, she nearly fell down as another cockroach was running about on the bathroom ground and she was trying to avoid it. In our stay in the room for 3 days, we encountered not just one or two, but countless of cockroaches, some were even walking on the toiletries like toothbrush and comb.

Waking around the corridors of the maternity ward, I spotted several cockroaches outside the nursery. On one occasion, I informed the staff nurse, she just stepped on the cockroach and killed it, as if it was normal practice. God only knows, how many cockroaches had crawled into the nursery where my newborn baby was kept. This traumatised me.

3 years ago, my wife was admitted to the same hospital for a caesarian surgery. It was then infested with cockroaches too, to the extent that even one day, when her hot meal was served with a tudung, when she opened the cover (tudung), a big cockroach ran out of the the food. I did complain 3 years ago but they told me that the hospital was infested with cockroaches because of the renovation/construction being done to an old wing. Though this was no excuse as a hospital has to be extremely hygienic, I accepted their explanation and apology then, hoping that they would have got their act together after 3 years.

After our experience, my wife and I thought it would be best to get discharge earlier than normal. For the 3 days I stayed with a normal caesarian delivery, I was charged nearly RM11,000. With such a hefty fee, one would expect some levels of hygiene and service rendered. What is the Malaysian Medical Association and Ministry of Health doing? They seem to be overly concerned with policies governing doctors. They should come out with policies protecting the consumer patient. In this case, cockroaches can actually pass infection and be very detrimental to a patient.

If such a situation had existed overseas, the hospital would be shut down immediately. We are definitely a third would country for tolerating such intolerable hygiene standards in what are supposed to be premium hospitals.

Am I to pay a premium for blood and urine stained blankets and cockroaches?

Kind Regards

Blood Stained Blankets
Blood Stain on Blankets

Cockroach in toilet floor
Cockroach on toilet floor

Cockroach on toilet wall
Cockroach on toilet wall

Cockroach outside Nursery
Cockroach outside Nursery

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 6:56 pm

    The pictures are pretty scaring. Unfortunately, Liow Tiong Lai is too busy fighting for his position in MCA!!

  2. #2 by rockdaboat on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 7:00 pm


  3. #3 by dagen on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 7:18 pm

    Better to shut up and enjoy what little is left of the country. Another three years and you wont be able to tell the diff between malaysia and zimbabwe. We all will then be treading about town in barefoot.

  4. #4 by donplaypuks on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 8:24 pm

    Sue them today! Don’t wait another second!

  5. #5 by monsterball on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 9:42 pm

    That’s how good our Minister of Health is.
    Naturally….under UMNO BARU..all blames will be diverted to others.
    Being elected to work…not qualified to work…all not important.
    Most important is how to keep getting more votes..through acting and tell half truths.
    For 35 years…so many incidents and have we ever seen any Minister stand tall and take the blame and resign?
    You can see what kind of leadership examples these Ministers are showing to young Malaysians.
    Fortunately….commercial firms focusing on productivity..right attitudes and mentalities…have much much more Malaysians to note….how sick pour country is…governed by UMNO BARU.
    What a shame to read this post.
    Lets wait for the Minister of Health comment…which maybe passed of to Minister of Tourism…Home…etc etc…as passing the blame to another…UMNO is very good at that.

  6. #6 by good coolie on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 9:51 pm

    Well done for high-lighting this incident. This is the way to improve things in Malaysia.

    Here’s wishing mother and child well.

  7. #7 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 10:23 pm

    It is a private hospital, meant for businesses and profits. That is the hospital’s main objective. Unless the stakeholders, the board of directors and the shareholders decide what kind of hospital it should be. This is a real, true fact. Things like quality services and a Florence Nightingale’s attitude will not be given priority. Even in the government service, these are lacking because there are too many staff. The government hospital is also expected to behave like those in the corporate world. Who are the people who work in the private ? Can the private afford to pay them what they deserve or more ? The equipments and the medicines are costly enough minus other things which are needed as well. Therefore do not be surprised if the staff is not trained at all or just partially trained because of the salary’s factor. Patients or their relatives have little regard for other staff. They are more worried about the doctors. Whether the doctors are good or whether the treatment is fast and effective. Nobody wants a slow and ineffective treatment because everyone wants to get on in life and nobody wants to be bedridden and feel sick all the time. Next time if you have to be hospitalized, weigh the pros and cons. The 1 Malaysia clinic is available and is supposed to be better. From there, get yourself referred to the government hospital. The 1 Malaysia hospital should exist. Immediate consultation the second you step through the door. Fast treatment. Surgery there and then if necessary. The nicest and sweetest nurses around. Follow up soon. Everything online. No need to call. No need to have cards and papers. No need to wait. mmm…only in my dreams.

  8. #8 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 10:34 pm

    The Minister and his KSU should be hauled up for explanation. this is definitely a case of gone to the dogs. 30 years ago our 3rd class ward was still acceptable in many aspect but now even the 1st class begs of improvement. Of all things, we learn to want to piratize the hospitals like the USA!

  9. #9 by undertaker888 on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 10:46 pm

    house of cockroaches and blood…that seems to describe umno and bn pretty well literally.

  10. #10 by raven77 on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 11:32 pm

    Could it be that the nurses manning the hospital are all from MAHSA college, Masterskill or other nursing colleges housed in shopping com plexes and denied practical knowledge or lessons at MOH hospitals.

    Nawww…it’s more likely that they are run by GLCs with atidak apa attitude…

    Liow, Merican and co have virtually destroyed doctor run hospitals for corporate ones where service is a slave to the share value on the Bursa….so enjoy….

  11. #11 by Jong on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 11:46 pm

    What a shame, Ganesh you and your wife should not have paid the bill in full. If they insist take them to court!

    For privately-run hospitals like the Pantai Group of Hospitals where patients pay a bomb, high standard of cleanliness is expected to ensure patients/service users’ basic dignity.

    What a coincidence, I just sent in a letter of complaint to Pantai Hospital Ipoh on Sat 20th Feb 2010 over the lack of cleanliness in their toilets/washrooms but have yet to receive an acknowledgement from its management. I am waitng.

    There is no excuse for such appalling situation unbelieveable for an enviroment inwhich clinical care is being provided, this problem should not at all exist!

    Btw Ganesh, Congrats to you and your wife on your new addition!

  12. #12 by chengho on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 - 11:48 pm

    are u sure you were at Pantai not somewhere at Teluk Intan?
    Pantai hospital fully manage by the ever efficient Parkway group of Singapore , u better check your fact right.

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 2:49 am

    Ha, ha, ha, Malaysia Boleh spirits loh
    Malaysians hv short memories mah
    Lupa 2 serve tea n kopi, lupa 2 wash blankets, lupa 2 maintain d minimum standard of public hygiene n sanitation, maybe hospital workers lupa 2 wash hands after pan sai
    (Please substitute lupa with lazy at your pleasure)
    BUT TAK lupa 2 bill you kuat kuat
    Poor ‘good practices’, poor sanitation, n with freezing temperatures
    Poor patients masuk hospital normal n healthy
    But kena nosocomial community-acquired and iatrogenic infections
    Sue hospital? Ai yoh yoh, hospital says bonus what, no charge, free presents given
    Malaysians luv free things one
    Also, MOH where got time 2 monitor n enforce minimum standard n good medical practices
    Got 2 masak masak sodo mee lah n main politics in MCA
    N must also see d ppl who own d hospital – got connection with Umno B/BN or not
    Don’t play play with them oh

  14. #14 by monsterball on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 4:05 am

    There goes chengho trying to insult Ganesh…a if Ganesh cannot differentiate Tuluk Itan and Kuala Lumpur.
    How low will chengho prepare to go….to keep putting out idiotic comments…to protect UMNO?

  15. #15 by isahbiazhar on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 5:07 am

    Even an apology will not solve the problem.Our medical staffs are leaving for the Middle East where the standard is so high that it is fully run by foreigners that includes Malaysians.These substandard services are rampant in our private hospitals that they go unnoticed because they are very much better than the government run ones.Ganesh, your photos are no proof supporting your allegations.It is a good advertisement for the other private hospitals.My sympathy to you , your wife and the new baby.Any response from the hospitalm concerned!

  16. #16 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 5:53 am

    Wow! Shocking. And to think that I almost had my last operaation there. Thank God, fortuitously, I didn’t. And now I never will.

  17. #17 by Comrade on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 8:14 am

    How disgusting. What a shame!
    The excuses given are so lame
    The management and MOH are to blame
    Rectify immediately to save your good name

  18. #18 by drngsc on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 8:31 am

    Hi Ganesh,
    This is clearly not acceptable. I sit in the Private healthcare facilities and services act / regulations amendment committee. Under the Act, The hospital should look into your complaint and give you a reply within 14 days. If you are unhappy with the reply, you can complain to the Director General of Health, who should look into your complain and take action, and also give you a reply. Yes, action can include suspending the licence of the Hospital, if your complain is found to be true. But remember, Pantai Bangsar is owned by Khazanah, and is GLC. I will raise it at the next amendment committee meeting. There is one coming up.

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 9:42 am

    Yes loh, photos not proof of guilt
    Hospital will challenge u – photos of blanket n cockroaches @ your home not hospital 1
    U shld hv taken photos/video of blood-stained blanket n cockroaches with smiling nurses by d side or staff nurse stepping on d cockroach, crunch crunch

  20. #20 by asmehane on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 11:36 am

    Good la, told u b4, dont go private hospital. But u insist, i told u 2 go to govt hospital, u dont want. Now even private hospital failure also u all guys out there still blaming the govt. Pls furnish the name of UMNO Baru guys who control that particular hospital or which PAKATTANPUTRA hold the shares, or maybe Bro LKS can furnish the list of shareholders plus numbers of shares held by that particular individuals in that hospital. Ha ha ha

  21. #21 by Black Arrow on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 11:45 am

    MMA must do something about this. This is certainly not acceptable. If Malaysia is not careful, soon we will be into 3rd world and even 4th world standards.

  22. #22 by Motorist on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 11:55 am

    Why do you think the wealthy & powerful go for treatment elsewhere outside BolehLand.

    Singapore or Germany or UK or US… anywhere but BolehLand.

  23. #23 by PSM on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 12:04 pm

    Malaysia boleh muh!
    Sue them…!!!

  24. #24 by dagen on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 12:27 pm

    Dirty hospital? With roaches and dried blood stains?

    Now that is precisely what cintanegara and kasim and chengho wanted.

    Jib Jib Boleh.

  25. #25 by caparthia on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 12:43 pm

    The stain look not only like blood, but also rust or chemical residuals. Don’t know what it really was. Cockroaches are everywhere in the country and I believe they is no any ultimate way to eliminate it from either government or private hospital facilities, hotel or restaurant. If you go at late night to any closed Starbucks while the pest control people are doing there weekly work, you will realise how strong is the little bug that present on earth million years before human.

  26. #26 by DCLXVI on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 1:12 pm

    chengho :Ganesh,are u sure you were at Pantai not somewhere at Teluk Intan?Pantai hospital fully manage by the ever efficient Parkway group of Singapore , u better check your fact right.

    Whether in Bangsar or Teluk Intan, it is still the Health Ministry’s responsibility to check and ensure that all hospitals, government run or private, meet the proper hygienic standards.

    Since Parkway Holdings has been mentioned, it appears this business entity answers only to the Singaporean Health Ministry in Singapore, and answers only to the Malaysian Health Ministry in Malaysia.

    By the way, if I’m not mistaken, there is only one Pantai Hospital in Perak, which is in Ipoh.

  27. #27 by Malaysianobserver on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 4:34 pm

    Cockroaches in restaurants is one thing but cockroaches in Medical organisations should never be tolerated.

    Read this and you will understand the fear of this particular parent.

    In this article, a cockroach nibbled on the newborn baby’s eye.

    Do you know what will happen if a cockroach goes into a baby’s ear?

    The Ministry of Health has to do something about this.

    Medical Negligence is not about the doctor’s negligence but should also cover situations such as what the author experienced.

  28. #28 by grace on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 - 6:09 pm

    In a developed country, if a restaurant is found withonly one cockroach, the authority will order it shut for at least a week to have it clleaned.

    Now, in such ‘high ‘ class hospital, there are cockroaches and blood stained blankets and yet the authority allows it to operate. My God. The blood can be HIV infected for all you know. Yiiiiiii, I rather go to Hospital Government where at least I know that their blamkets and bed sheets are treated with hot water to kill off germs and bacteria

  29. #29 by Malaysianobserver on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 9:35 am

    grace, as seen in this article, the cockroach carries not only germs and bacteria but also the bacteria is harmful bacteria and can “spread diseases such as salmonella, polio and gastroenteritis”

    Read more:

    Btw, Bernama also carries the story about how the cockcroach nibbled on the baby’s eye.

  30. #30 by cemerlang on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 11:30 am

    First of all, all domestic services are privatized in the government’s hospitals. The government pays the private company a lump sum of money. Then services are provided that equal the costs that are paid. If the services given are not worth the costs given, money will be deducted and given back to the government. Dirty linen are divided into common dirty linen and linen that are infected with contagious germs. Laundry are weighed and charged accordingly. Something like when you go to the dobi and you have to pay and insert your coins into the washing machine to start the function or you pay the cleaners. Then strong disinfectant are used because you do not know what kind of germs are lurking among the sheets or what the sheets are used for. Real hot water is used. Chemicals to remove stains are used. Then the linens are dried by high powered drying machines. Then they go through a pressing machine that is real hot and when the end product comes out, it is real clean, no stain, no germs, real smooth and ready to be used. They are strictly counted because of the costs. You all should visit the laundry service in the government hospital because as soon as you enter the door, you can feel the heat. Sometimes the linen has got a rusty stain because it is the machine that becomes rusty. Talking about linens that are used publicly, even 5 stars’ hotel linen can have blood stain.

  31. #31 by Winston on Thursday, 25 February 2010 - 5:16 pm

    Well, Ganesh, it’s good that you are public spirited enough to bring this nightmarish episode in this blog.
    However, don’t let things rest there.
    Take up the matter with the MMC to get to the bottom of the whole matter.
    Not the MMA because that is just an association for doctors only.

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