Health Ministry: No delay in treating Singaporean as alleged

PETALING JAYA: There was no delay in attending to 25-year-old Singaporean Justinian Tan after he was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident last Wednesday in Johor, said the Health Ministry.

While expressing his condolences, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also said that there was no demand for payment by the Sultanah Aminah Hospital before giving treatment to the victim as claimed.

The online news portal earlier reported that the victim was critically injured following the accident, and claimed that there was slow response time from the ambulance sent from the hospital.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said that the ambulance service record showed that the emergency call was made at 2.57am on Aug 25 and that the ambulance left the hospital two minutes after that.

"(The ambulance) arrived at the scene at 3.10am and departed from the scene with the patient at 3.15am," he said on Friday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that the victim was then admitted to the Red Zone due to his critical condition where the emergency treatment protocol was continued, including putting him on life support.

"The emergency department team also initiated necessary imaging treatment and made the referral to the relevant team in a very timely and professional manner, without asking for any deposit since this is an emergency case," he explained.

Dr Noor Hisham said that such practice was in line with the ministry's circular in regard to deposit payments for foreigners in government hospitals.

As for the injury to his brain, he said the patient was referred to the Neurosurgery team and the hospital conducted necessary treatment without a demand for deposit.

"The family was only asked to proceed with payment of the imaging (treatment) amounting to RM2,575. However, the family members opted for discharge 'at on risk' and arranged for admission to a hospital in Singapore after understanding the risk involved of further delaying the surgery," he said.

He then urged all parties to be responsible in reporting, commenting and releasing inaccurate information and baseless statement that could lead to misunderstanding.

"The ministry has always valued life and does its utmost best to treat any patient, regardless their background or nationality," he said.

Tan was travelling with a group of friends in Johor Baru when the accident took place along Jalan Dato Abdullah Tahir in Taman Abad.

It was reported that they were heading back to their  car at about 3am when a Malaysian-registered Proton Saga collided into two of them from behind and drove off.

A person from the group named Joshua detailed the ordeal, including how the ambulance took a long time to arrive at the scene of the accident.

He claimed that upon reaching the hospital, they were asked to pay RM1,350 each before its staff could start giving them treatment.

Tan, who lost consciousness during the accident was put on life support on Monday, but passed away at 12.30pm on Wednesday.

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