Saturday, September 02, 2017

JB Hospital refutes Sing's allegations

MM Online - Singaporean highlights language barrier during emergency at JB hospital (extracts):

Continuing from Was this murder?

A friend of a Singaporean man killed in a hit-and-run admitted today that problems in getting the victim treatment at a Johor Baru hospital could have been a miscommunication due to language issues.

Joshua De Rozario, one of the five friends of 25-year-old Justinian Tan who had all gone to Johor Baru together for supper on August 25 when Tan was hit by a car, told Singapore’s Straits Times that Tan was treated “straightaway” at the Hospital Sultan Aminah (HSA).

But according to De Rozario, the general hospital’s staff were speaking Malay while he and his friends were speaking English, leading to “difficulties communicating”.

“At that point of time, what I heard was that we had to pay and in cash — it couldn’t be in card. We didn’t have a large sum of money on us and we had to run around finding an ATM. From our point of view then, it felt like we had to pay first,” he was quoted saying.

“Nothing was really communicated properly so it could have been a miscommunication. We didn’t even know where he was at the time, but after we paid they told us to go to the red zone.

“Truth be told, I don’t know and I can’t comment on whether the hospital did all they could. I’m not medically trained and we had communication problems because we did not speak much Malay. So we thought it was better to bring him back. Perhaps there were things lost in translation,” the Singaporean added.

De Rozario also reportedly said the wait for an ambulance “felt really long” and he thought it took 30 minutes, after Malaysia’s Health Ministry said today that an ambulance left HSA two minutes after the call for help was made, arrived at the scene within 11 minutes, and departed with the patient in five minutes.

“There were quite a lot of people there and someone else called the ambulance. We were in a distressed situation and didn’t know what to do. In that situation, I didn’t have a sense of the time and it did feel like 30 minutes,” De Rozario was quoted as saying.

Thus could these all be from a combination of tragic language barrier, Sing-Malaysian proclivity towards exaggerated rumour-mongering plus a sad young death, all adding to what have been a total confusion.


  1. Calling this murder is unbecoming and inappropriate.

    However, the Health Ministry owes the public a detailed explanation, not just threaten to sue. Just another symptom of the Malaysian Government not understanding the concept of accountability in a democracy, right to the very top.

    The fact is foreign nationals need to pay full fees at a government hospital. It would be a requirement to explain the financial implications to the accident victim's friends.

    However, the medical treatment of the victim should have proceeded. If it was in fact suspended, pending cash payment , that would be a violation of medical ethics.

    This is a government hospital, not a private business venture.

    Medical professionals speak of the Golden Hour in treating a serious accident. Failure to provide life-saving treatment in that period will likely lead to irreversible deterioration of the person's condition, inevitably ending in death.

    The Malaysian Government has a very poor track record of transparency and integrity. Its all Spin, Spin and Spin, 24 hours a day.

    The lack of trust in the government, especially in on-line communities is obvious.

  2. Any blue collared Msian can understand English and speak smatteringly of the language, but don't expect them to speak perfect English.

    Pity for many young Sporeans not to embrace their national language where a pasar Malay can go a long way even in Kota Bharu

    1. Couldn't yr idea works both ways??

      A medical officer must be able to handle a smitten of England, broken &/or otherwise!

      So, what went wrong in this case? Emergency does need queen English le!

      1) communication mis-match - one talks duck, the other chicken.

      2) golden hour rule applies in emergency. What happen in delaying of that rule?

      3) why only medical officer to perform operation in such a critical case? In house surgeon on holiday ke? Then, who was manning the emergency ward? What kind of hospital is that??

    2. i think u, n singaporean look down on us msian, thats y u tok kok.

    3. Just shoot w/o thinking has become yr trademark lately!

      If u don't understand the message just keep quiet lah. Nobody will blame u!

      For yr superficial malaysiana, just think if the victim is a fellow Malaysian & the news broke by Malaysian blogger.

      My aim is to raise the issues, that all of u r ignoring - the states of workability within the Malaysian hospitals, public &/or private.

      Just hope u wont be the one within the boundary of that facility when u r involved in a life threatening accident!