Govt must compensate others fairly too
- From:"See Leong Kit"
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 04:45:06 -0000
Subject: [singaporeforum] See L K: Govt must compensate others fairly too
Rejected by TODAY
1. We thank See Leong Kit for this letter.
2. To discuss this, see
Govt must compensate others fairly too
by See Leong Kit
9 November 2003
I refer to your report "Paralysed accountant awarded $1.65 million
payout" (TODAY Nov 8).
The 28-year old accountant Ms Lim Hwee Ming was
paralysed in 2000 after a 10m fall in Pulau Ubin
during an outdoor adventure programme conducted by a
private company. She is now wheelchair-bound and
totally dependent on others.
In 1995, a similar incident happened at the Pulau Ubin
Outward Bound School run by the People's Association,
a statutory board under the Home Affairs Ministry. A
17-year old student had suffered severe head and
spinal injuries from a 3m high fall, despite wearing a
He also ended up paralysed and wheelchair-bound for
the rest of his life. In this case, however, his
parents apparently have little legal recourse for
compensation. Where is the justice? Why the double
In similar vein, if an NS son dies during training,
they will hand over to his inconsolable parents a
cheque for the "obscene sum" of around $100,000 (under
the Workmen Compensation Act).
What incredible irony! They pay themselves
million-dollar salaries. They readily spend millions
on HDB Upgrading with the political motive of securing
election votes. And yet they cannot do "the honorable
and morally right thing" in ensuring that those who
die or suffer permanent disability during their NS
stint are compensated adequately, since most NS sons
are likely family breadwinners.
Date: Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:54 pm
Subject: Doctors too quick in suspecting NSman of malingering - Public Views
31 Oct 2003
Doctors too quick in suspecting NSman of malingering
I REFER to the article, 'Family sues NUH, 6 doctors' (ST, Oct 25),
and the letter, 'NSman died of rare infection with high mortality
rate' (ST, Oct 29), by the National Healthcare Group's Ms Tong Yoke
I understand where Ms Tong is coming from. I accept the coroner's
finding that Mr Chua Ya Ta had died from a rare infection with a
reported mortality rate of up to 80-100 per cent.
However, the point that concerns me the most is that the doctors
attending to Mr Chua accused him of malingering. They might have been
baffled by his condition but, as medical professionals, should they
not have given their patient the benefit of the doubt?
I understand that doctors do encounter malingerers and they would be
better off helping patients who needed their attention.
However, Singaporeans entrust the lives of their loved ones to the
care of doctors every day. Surely, brushing off an NSman's complaint
as malingering would be deemed irresponsible? This is especially so
in Mr Chua's case.
While it is not up to me to determine if there had been medical
negligence, I hope that doctors understand the great responsibilities
that are placed in their hands.
Having said that, as an individual with a medical history, I must say
that most of the doctors whom I have encountered have been thoroughly
professional and competent.
ALEX YEO SHENG CHYE
Date: Fri Oct 24, 2003 7:22 pm
Subject: "Malingering" NS Man Denied of proper medical treatment dies.
More atrocities uncovered. NS Man accused of malingering, denied of proper
medical treatment and finally dies.
These are not isolated incidents. In addition to direct physical and
psychological abuse, denial of proper medical treatment is also a constant
recurring feature of the Singapore Army.
Many SAF doctors merely "go through the motion" of dignosing and treating
patients, and often the results are catastrophic. These paper shuffling
bureucrats have long forgotten their professional oath as medical doctors and
replaced it with a bureucratic creed which favours career advancement in the
25 Oct 2003
Family sues NUH, 6 doctors
By K.C. Vijayan
THE family of a dead full-time national serviceman is suing six
doctors and the National University Hospital (NUH), alleging that
their negligence led to his dying two days after he was admitted for
a pain in the right leg.
The six include a consultant surgeon and an orthopaedic specialist
who attended to 23-year-old Chua Ya Ta in June, 2001.
The dead man's parents, carpenter Chua Seow Cheong and housewife Tan
Hong Eng, both in their early 50s, and his sole surviving brother, Ya
Lin, 21, are behind the suit, which was filed in the Subordinate
Courts late last month.
A spokesman for the family's lawyers, Oei and Charles, said that the
firm is in the process of serving the suit.
Corporal Chua, who was a tank driver in the army, saw the doctor at
his camp on June 15, 2001, when his leg started hurting, and was
advised to go to hospital.
At NUH, he received treatment and was sent home.
But less than three hours later, he returned to the hospital
complaining of pain and a fever that came and went, and was admitted.
In the next two days, despite suffering from the pain, he was accused
by two of the doctors of malingering 'to avoid his army training'.
In fact, the morning after he was admitted, his girlfriend, IT
administrator Gladys Seow, also 23 then, was told by a nurse that the
hospital wanted to discharge Cpl Chua and was handed a bill for the
He was not discharged as by then, he had difficulties standing
At about noon, he fainted in the hospital toilet while showering.
There was also blood in his stool.
His condition worsened and at about 3pm the day after, he was given
oxygen because he had difficulty breathing.
By this time, his fingers, toes and face had also turned slightly
Distressed, his uncle, businessman Chua Kok Poon, who was visiting
his nephew then, asked that he be transferred to another hospital.
At about 5pm, he received a note from a doctor assuring him that Cpl
Chua was in stable condition and not in 'clinical danger'.
He was later transferred to the intensive care unit, where he died at
11.10pm of an acute bacterial infection.
The suit alleges that NUH doctors failed to take sufficient steps to
diagnose the infection and prescribe early treatment.
Contacted on Thursday, an NUH spokesman said that the hospital had
referred the case to the coroner in 2001 and had cooperated fully in
She added that the hospital has always kept the lines of
communication with the family open.
'We also offered them grief counselling, as well as our fullest
assistance whenever appropriate,' she said.