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ST wants cyberspace lynching? Waz its agenda?

In Public Administration on 20/03/2016 at 1:53 pm

Name those responsible for Hep C infections at SGH

Staff confidentiality has no part to play when there is a serious breach of patient care

 

No the above did not appear in TRE or TOC or any other anti-PAP blog. It appeared in the constructive, nation-building ST and was written by its long-time health reporter, a usually reliable ally of MoH. She was ranting like any cybernut rat from TRELand, The findings should have gone a long way towards restoring the badly dented reputation of SGH, which describes itself on its website as “Singapore’s flagship tertiary hospital with a history and tradition of medical excellence spanning two centuries”.

Instead, all we were told this week was that disciplinary action has been taken against 16 (unidentified) senior-level people, and that the action included “warnings, stern warnings and financial penalties”.

The public had expected transparency and accountability*.

Well the TRE rats would agree with her.

What she’s missing is that where there is a systems failure where no-one person or group persons are primarily responsible, in management or organisation theory, it’s wrong to name and shame all of them publicly. This is especially true in  the age of social media. The cybermob can bully and intimidate. Is this what a responsible reporter and the nation-building ST want? Cybermobs running riot in cyberspace, bullying and intimidating.

Coming back to mgt theory, the CEO of SGH is the one that has to accept public responsibility for the failure of procedures that resulted deaths and someone at MoH has to accept the responsibility of not informing the minister earlier.

The reporter and ST should have asked for a Japanese style apology from the CEO of SGH and the senior MoH officer responsible for the delay in reporting the problem. GCT was keen to stress Jap values so long as they didn’t apply to the PAP administrationKhaw when it applied to the WP.

Where’s GCT’s and Khaw’s Jap style of responsibility from the head of SGH and the senior official in MoH**?

Actually is this the kind of Jap behaviour the PAP administration prefers? CEO takes cover.

Coming back to the ST article, could the call for the naming and shaming of staff be a smoke screen to avoid the real issue of who should take responsibility for the deaths, and the late reporting of the problem? Is it to avoid the CEO of SGH being made to accept public responsibility for the failure of procedures that resulted deaths? Is it to protect someone at MoH who would have otherwise had to accept the responsibility of not informing the minister earlier?

What do you think?

“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.”― G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown

In this story, Father Brown, an amateur detective, deducted that a commanding officer hid his murder of a fellow-officer by sending his soldiers into battle in the area where the body lay. The dead bodies of the soldiers “covered up” the murder.

Is ST and the reporter growing a forest to help their ally, the PAP administration, avoid the issue of mgt responsibility for the deaths and the late reporting?

What do you think?

——–

*But it does not tell us who these people were, how they were at fault, and what disciplinary action has been taken against each of them.

When asked for details, the MOH spokesman said: “Adhering to staff and patient confidentiality norms, we would like to assure the public that the staff who were involved in the incident have been disciplined accordingly.

“The disciplinary actions were decided based on the specific roles, responsibilities and job nature of the officers, as well as the nature of the incident and the impact of their actions in this episode.”

Sounding like one of those anti_PAP warriors she cont’d

Patient confidentiality, one can understand. But staff confidentiality?

The public had expected transparency and accountability.

Instead, what it got was roughly: “We’ve looked into it and taken action. You don’t need to know anything more. Just trust us to do the right thing.”

Staff confidentiality has no place when people have died because of something those 16 people did or failed to do.

Patients go to a hospital to be cured, not to get an avoidable infection because staff were cavalier, or negligent, or inept.

Yes, hospital-acquired infections are unfortunately common, and people do catch them and die as a result. But this was not a case of an airborne bug which spreads easily.

This, according to the Independent Review Committee set up by the MOH, was likely due to “gaps in infection prevention and control practices”.

Doesn’the above sound like something from an anti-PAP blogger, not from a responsible reporter from the nation-building, constructive ST?

**She pointed out:

It bears repeating: 25 people were infected and seven deaths were possibly caused by the outbreak.

Tell us, was it caused by laziness, negligence or ineptitude – or something else altogether. Tell us also that this incident is viewed seriously by spelling out the actions taken.

If people are left with the impression that doctors and ministry officials get special protection no matter what they do, then confidence in the system will be badly eroded.

Can’t argue with her and her cyber-rat fans cheering her on.

 

 

 

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  1. This WAS a systems failure whereby the major gap was allowing same vial of insulin for multiple patients i.e. shared vials, although supposedly using fresh, sterile needles & syringes. By using shared vials, this created a single point of failure if any of the 1,001 aspects of infection control was not strictly adhered to. E.g. lack of hand disinfection — between patients, before drug preparation, before administering insulin, after administering insulin; not disinfecting the rubber bung of the shared vial adequately before use; not using new sterile needles/syringes; using new sterile needles/syringes but leaving them exposed for too long or mishandling them thus rendering them no longer sterile; etc etc. The possibilities are endless.

    And then the pathogen being introduced into the shared vial and subsequently being re-transmitted, even though subsequent usage all followed 100% infection control — the bug is already in the insulin/vial, no matter how solid & how sterile you prepare the subsequent insulin administrations for other patients, you’re simply injecting them with already contaminated insulin.

    Who’s responsible?!?! The senior doctors, medical directors who came up with this protocol in the 1st place??? The CEO or chief medical officer who approved & signed off on this protocol?!?!? The infection control team & educators who didn’t educate the ground staff enough, and weren’t vigilant enough in their audits & random spot checks?!?!?! The external audit teams who couldn’t detect any shortcomings & signed off that the staff are following protocol?!?!? The actual ground staff/staff nurses who got careless or bochap or simply burnt out to overlook 100% of the by-the-book steps?!??! How many of these staff nurses??? 1, 2 or the whole lot of them?!?!?

  2. I am not sure if there is a trend. Whenever such incidents happen, think Mas Selamat or Little Indian riots, the head of the organization will not come out and apologise or resign. Smaller incidents would be like the massive cock up when the MCE open to traffic

    They will come out combative and deny all wrong or say “lets move on” or “how can expect 100% ready”.

    It has come to a point that the whole “elites class” cannot lose face, can do no wrong. All mistakes is due to their subordinates. This is a big problem. There is no accountability.

    The Hep C case is just another case where the head is hiding behind his/her subordinates. Yes the cybercrowd is baying for blood. If only the CEO of SGH or the minister is man enough to own up, and not use their subordinates as a shield.

  3. No long after, escalators will start to chew up people in Singapore especially an old lady has already lost one of her hand to a lift.

  4. I agree with you that the ST is complicit in its out of character attempt to subtly push the buck from the govt to its employees, as in the infamous Mas Selamat ‘escapade’, because some ‘natural aristocrats’ faces are at stake. It would seem that ALL setbacks is regarded in highly political terms by the LHL govt. Even when the emperor is plainly stark butt naked. Lee’s apparently sees his grip on power as highly fragile that he cannot afford to admit even the tiniest of mistakes. For example, we see it in the Amos Yee, Benjamin Lim and even David Ong fiascoes; one push, and Lee’s house of cards would collapse! In Lee’s mind, the opposition parties are like hungry wolves snarling and waiting at the sides to pounce on him, like what we see on nature programme on TV.

    What I really like to know is what actions have been taken to control infection/cross-infection in every conceivable medical situation or protocol. It is the renal ward today. It can be another specialty/ward tomorrow. Granted that this is highly specialised and technical work requiring a very keen sense of awareness and detailed knowledge of procedures, (and detective work, perhaps?) etc. The best and onerous way about it is to embark on a very thorough and detailed audit of every pertinent and relevant medical/clinical/ward area/activity. Is this now being done?

    As an example, MRSA infection, nowadays a rather common infection acquired by patients as a result of hospital stay. What is actively and effectively being done to monitor and control it? Are patients aware of the steps he/she has to take to protect himself/herself and for those who have been infected/acquired MRSA, how can they protect themselves and their family members, relatives and friends whom they come into contact with during hospital visits and upon discharge from hospital? What medical procedure and control measures have been formalized and implemented by the MOH across the board not only for SGH, but ALL private/public/restructured Singapore hospitals? At the moment, it seems very much like a ‘see no evil, say no evil and hear no evil’ situation of pretense and hoping that nothing worse would/can happen even when it can be a very serious infection for one who had contacted it and there is no available more powerful antibiotic to fight it.

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