Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 6, 2007

All patients must be treated

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:59 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: The director-general of Health is livid that a hospital did not treat a patient with gunshot wounds.
“No patient should be turned away by hospitals even if their equipment is not functioning,” said Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican.
“All patients must be accepted, assessed and ascertained how best to treat them. If necessary, assistance from elsewhere should be sought.”
“The same goes for private hospitals and medical institutions. They are bound to give the best treatment possible, despite their limitations.”
He was commenting on a case in Malacca where a used-car dealer, who was shot in the gut, had to stomach the pain for several hours on Monday after four hospitals would not treat him.
“In the case of Malacca Hospital, it was true that the CT scan machine had malfunctioned, but it was not absolutely necessary to perform a CT scan initially on this patient.”
He said the scan may be required once the patient was more stable and after immediate treatment was rendered.
“I was also informed by the hospital that the patient or his relative had made a request for him to be transferred to a private hospital.
“As always, there are two sides to a story. It is not our practice to discharge ill patients, but the patient was discharged, at his own risk, after making arrangements to send the patient to the private hospital. We were told later that three private hospitals did not want to admit him,” said Dr Ismail.
He said that following this, surgeons at the Malacca Hospital then decided to operate on the victim as his condition was deteriorating.
“An abdominal X-ray was taken before the surgery. The patient, who is in the intensive care unit, is now stable.”
Ismail said the patient also had other medical problems such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and infection.
Tioh Geok Piu, 56, was brought to the hospital at 2.50am on Monday with gunshot wounds.
Tioh was shot when two men entered his double-storey house in Taman Setia Jaya, Bukit Piatu, and tried to rob him.
On arriving at Malacca Hospital, Tioh’s family had called three private hospitals — Putra, Makhota and Pantai Specialist Centre but the medical institutions had given different reasons why they could not admit him.
In Malacca, the family and friends of Tioh were happy that he was no longer in danger and his condition had improved.
His friend, Ong Hian Yong, 56, said he met Tioh at the hospital but he was weak and unable to speak.
State Health Department director Dr Noraini Baba said Tioh would be under observation in the Intensive Care Unit.

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