KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Ministry of Health on Friday (Sep 1) said there was no delay or demand for payment before treating Justinian Tan, a Singaporean who died after an accident in Johor Bahru on Aug 25.
In a statement, the ministry refuted allegations that the ambulance took 30 minutes to arrive at the scene of the accident.
“From the ambulance service records, it was noted that the emergency call was made at 2.57am on Aug 25, 2017. The ambulance left (Sultanah Aminah Hospital) HSA at 2.59am, arrived at the scene at 3.10am and departed from the scene with the patient at 3.15am,” the statement said.
“Kudos to the ambulance call services for a very timely response, with despatch time of two (2) minutes and response time of 13 minutes.”
It added: “In view of his critical condition, the Singaporean man was admitted to the Red Zone upon arrival at the Emergency Department.
“Immediately, the emergency treatment as per the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocol was continued, which was already initiated by the ambulance team earlier.
“The Emergency Department team also initiated the necessary imaging (primary survey X-rays, CT-scan of brain, cervical and thorax), treatment (including intubation) and referral to the relevant team in a very timely and professional manner, without asking for any deposit since this is an emergency case.
“This is in line with the MOH policy as per the MOH Secretary General circular dated Mar 4, 2015 regarding deposit payment for foreigners in MOH hospitals.
“In view of the injury to his brain, the patient was referred to Neurosurgery team, and urgent decompressive craniotomy plus removal of clot and intracranial pressure monitoring was planned without demand for deposit.
“Subsequent to this, the family members arrived, and only then they were asked to proceed with payment of the imaging amounting RM 2,575 (S$818).
“However the family members opted for discharge at on risk (AOR discharge) and arranged for admission to a hospital in Singapore after understanding the risk involved of further delaying the surgery.
“The MOH urge all relevant parties to be responsible in reporting and further commenting, as releasing inaccurate information and baseless statement can lead to misunderstanding and disrupt the harmony. The MOH has always value life and does it utmost best to treat any patient, regardless of their background or nationality.”
Tan had been with five other friends in JB for supper that day. They had been heading back to their car along Jalan Dato Abdullah Tahir in Taman Abad when the accident happened.
Another member of the group, 24-year-old Brandon Yeo, was struck by the Malaysian-registered car as well. He suffered a broken femur, but has since been discharged from hospital.