Patient safety must come first!

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Right of appeal a boon for patients' families

My letter was first published in The Straits Times Forum Online, 19 Dec 2014

AS A patient advocate, I read Mr Peter Chen's letter ("No-win situation for all"; Dec 10) with sadness. It is unfair to say that "in cases of medical disputes, it is often emotions and not hard facts that influence the complainant's decision".

Medical injuries are seldom acknowledged to patients and their families. Very often, the families go through very difficult times while trying to seek redress and obtain a proper closure when their loved ones die of medical injuries in public hospitals. The avenues for them to seek redress are fraught with challenges.

Fortunately, some family members have managed to exercise their right of appeal under the Medical Registration Act.

Groundless complaints will not be entertained by the Ministry of Health. I reckon many families of subsidised patients hope only that the doctors will learn from their mistakes and improve patient safety.

Lee Soh Hong (Miss)

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