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The Tragic Loss of a Child and Overloaded Public Hospitals

<photo courtesy: Mee Pok Tah/Facebook>

Dear Friends,

I am deeply saddened to hear about the incident at the National University Hospital, where a bleeding mother waited for hours before she was given proper medical care.

By that time, her child had died.

This incident raises several red flags, especially at a time when the Singapore government believes it has “defeated” Covid.

Despite the high number of daily hospital cases and infections, and numerous complaints by healthcare professionals of being overworked, the government is bent on relaxing rules and opening the floodgates to foreigners once again.

This would make sense only if our local healthcare infrastructure is able to cope well with any surge of cases.

Otherwise, the unfortunate situation which Hong Kong finds itself in threatens to befall Singapore.

There are several questions which the SDA has for the government:

(1) NUH is one of three public hospitals which pregnant women who contract the Covid-19 virus are sent to, as per the Health Ministry’s protocol. Why does NUH appear to be overloaded despite having just three of such patients at one time, such that it cannot provide timely and appropriate treatment to a fourth patient?

(2) Private hospitals, as common practice, do not treat pregnant women who contract Covid, leaving public hospitals as the last bastion of support. What is the capacity of the remaining two hospitals, SGH and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, to handle such patients?

(3) How has our healthcare infrastructure been beefed up to deal with a possible surge in cases, considering the upcoming relaxed measures?

The government cannot simply dismiss the plight of Common Singaporeans.

During our walkabouts, we have met elderly residents who say they have recovered from Covid but are still feeling sickly.

One of these residents said he suffered swelling of his joints and throat when he was infected and was in much pain, but refused to go to a hospital because of the Health Ministry’s instruction to only seek treatment if one is very ill.

He did not want to put a further strain on our healthcare system.

Thankfully he is better now.

The government has been given more than two years to improve our healthcare infrastructure and wellbeing of our frontline workers.

Yet, at crucial junctures, it appears to have fallen short time and time again.

The SDA urges the government to have a heart for Common Singaporeans, and not charge ahead with its growth-at-all-cost approach at our expense.

One life unnecessarily lost is one loss too many.

Desmond Lim
Singapore Democratic Alliance

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