Hepatitis C Outbreak: MOH’s Disciplinary Procedure Raises Doubts Instead of Offering Answers

Posted on Mar 18 2016 - 4:02pm by Redwire Singapore

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RONALD LEE: When Redwire first called this whole Hepatitis C thing an outbreak, people scoffed and said that we were overplaying things.

Well, the Ministry of Health has finally decided to call a spade a spade, after easing the public into the magnitude of the whole situation.

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The timeline of the infections said it all.

Those disciplined – 12 staff members holding leadership positions at SGH and 4 senior officials from the MOH

Still, the MOH has once again been founding wanting.

Regarding the outbreak, which saw 25 patients infected and 8 dying from their sicknesses linked to infections, it was lapses in procedure which got the public mad.

Why wasn’t anyone told about this whole Hep C thing until half a year later (which coincided with the wrapping up of GE2015)?

How is it that even after such a fatal oversight in hygiene, and after SGH said it had “cleaned up” its wards, an independent review committee could still find glaring lapses like blood on the wall during inspection?

No answers were forthcoming.

Similarly, we’ve not been told what kind of disciplinary action was taken, and why was such action taken.

Even if the MOH or SGH doesn’t publicly disclose names of those who have been punished, the public, especially those who have suffered at the hands of these perpetrators, should know what has been meted out.

It’s the least the health ministry and the hospital can do to account for the lapse.

Was it a slap just a slap on the wrist, with promotions soon to come, as in the case of the safety officer involved in the death of national serviceman Dominique Sarron Lee?

Rather, the MOH has played up its formation of an elite infectious disease team, and a quicker response system to report such diseases.

Sure, it’s good to forgive and forget, but only after everything has been properly accounted for.

When our health officials perform well, like they did during the SARS outbreak 12 years ago, we gave them a great big pat on the back.

We’re still doing that until today.

When things go awry, it isn’t enough to just sweep things under the rug and move on.

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