Knee-jerk response to social media unwise


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 03 Dec 2019

I WRITE this in response to the article “Health Ministry to probe case of houseman who injured baby while attempting to draw blood” (The Star, Dec 1; online at bit.ly/star_probe).

The response of the ministry to the incident is most unwise. The ministry should have directed the people responsible for the post to the hospital administration and not make such a knee-jerk, people- pleasing statement.

Responding in such a manner will set a precedence for further social media “reports” on incidents in hospitals. It will encourage patients to take pictures/videos of everything – which is a breach of the privacy of other patients and staff.

It empowers irresponsible reporting and emboldens mischievous pranksters.

Imagine if every patient with a grievance were to post something in social media that the ministry would have to respond to – the mess that would result from this!

It also makes a mockery of the proper channels used to voice complaints, which is to the hospital director.

This will further render the already useless complaint boxes in hospitals further obsolete.

Don’t be surprised if after this incident, people turn to social media to complain without bothering to contact the hospital administration at all.

However, it is laudable that the ministry actually pays attention to social media activity and I hope that it will not ignore the many calls to revamp doctors evaluation/assessment and training systems as well as concerns over the uncertainty of junior doctors’ positions and healthcare facility failures.

Such issues affect doctors and patients in the entire nation – surely they warrant prompt action, too?

DR TIMOTHY CHENG

Petaling Jaya


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