Patient safety must come first!

Copyright 2012

Patients who go shopping pose infection risk

My letter was first published in The Straits Times Forum, 21 March 2013

I READ last Friday's report ("Race against time to battle deadly disease") with sadness as I remembered the victims of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) virus. Back in 2003, the Sars virus was indeed formidable. Fortunately, our health-care workers managed to conquer it.

Every day, lives are lost to hospital-acquired infections in public hospitals. Unfortunately, many infectious disease experts opine that it is impossible to achieve zero hospital-acquired infections in public hospitals.

It is heart-warming to know that Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has implemented various infection-control initiatives, for example, having fewer people sharing facilities ("Air-con for B2, C class in TTSH"; March 8).

However, it faces difficulties in deterring in-patients from shopping and dining at the shopping centres linked to the hospital, such as Square 2 and Velocity@Novena Square.

Infection prevention is a high priority. I urge these in-patients to cooperate and obey the rules of the hospital.

TTSH should also tighten its procedures and forbid in-patients from leaving its premises during their hospitalisation.

Lee Soh Hong (Miss)

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