Patient safety must come first!

Copyright 2012

Superbugs: Hospitals not doing enough

My letter was first published in The Straits Times Forum Online, 7 March 2009

AFTER reading Monday's article, 'Scrubbing out the superbug', I feel sorry for subsidised inpatients if 'cleaning up the hospitals could take up to a decade' and for poorer patients because they 'were also more likely to get MRSA because of the configurations of the cheaper wards', as noted by two infectious disease physicians.

My late father contracted methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) during his stay in a public hospital (B2 class) in August last year. Until today, my young nieces still ask: 'How did Grandpa contract Mr Sa?' The article also confirmed and validated my observations (shared in my book, What Killed My Dad? Reflections On How To Make Your Hospital Stay Safer') on infection control in public hospitals.

I feel public hospitals are not doing enough to fight MRSA. For example, compulsory screening of MRSA (detected by swabbing patients' nostrils) may not have been implemented in all wards in some public hospitals.

I hope health-care providers will learn from overseas hospitals that are constantly implementing new initiatives to combat bugs in order to save lives. One such latest finding is that copper door handles and taps kill 95 per cent of bugs in hospitals.

Lee Soh Hong (Miss)

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