Family of deceased patient demands independent probe into alleged negligence at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital

SUNGAI PETANI: The family of a 51-year-old patient who died while seeking emergency treatment at the Sultan Abdul Halim (HSAH) last Sunday is demanding the Health Ministry (MOH) to form an independent panel to investigate the incident.

Lawyer Dr Shamsher Singh Thind said Chandran Subramaniam's family demands that the panel investigate the alleged negligence by an assistant medical officer to be placed under the supervision of Health director-general Dr Muhammad Radzi.

Shamser said Chandran's wife, who has appointed him to represent her, said the family had lost faith in the HSAH management to carry out the investigation.

"We demand a transparent and proper investigation to be carried out immediately by an independent panel. Our client has lost faith in the capability and the intention of the HSAH management in investigating the incident.

"We wish to be updated from time to time on the progress of the matter. Please inform us before requesting a statement from our client or any family member.

"Meanwhile, our client reserves all the rights to take any legal action deemed as necessary," he said in a letter of demand to the ministry today, sighted by the New Straits Times.

Shamser insisted that any communication between the ministry and the deceased's family should only be made in the presence of the lawyer.

He added that according to Chandran's widow, Valy Lachimanan, the deceased died at HSAH at about 6.31am on Dec 3, 2023, from acute inferior myocardial infarction.

"The deceased was taken to the HSAH Emergency and Trauma Department on the same day at about 12.30am.

"Although the victim has complained of suffering from chest pain and breathing difficulty for so long, he was not given proper treatment and within a reasonable time by the doctor and staff on duty at the HSAH Emergency and Trauma Department at that time, particularly at the Red Zone (Critical).

"Due to the negligence or incompetency of the doctor and/or the staff, the deceased has died," he said in the letter of demand that was sent to the Health director-general.

Earlier today, the NST reported that the ministry had launched an investigation into an alleged case of negligence involving an assistant medical officer with the HSAH, resulting in the death of a man who sought emergency treatment on Dec 3.

HSAH management said that the investigation started on Dec 7 and pledged that the probes would be carried out "in a transparent manner based on the stipulated procedure."

The statement said the ministry would not compromise negligence among its medical staff.

The statement is in response to the claim by Chandran's family that the deceased was given the wrong medication when he sought treatment at the HSAH emergency department.

The incident was highlighted by United for the Rights of Malaysians Party (Urimai) leader David Marshel in a Facebook posting.

David claimed that an assistant medical officer at the hospital's emergency department had diagnosed Chandran with gastritis and prescribed the patient gastritis medication despite complaining of chest pain and breathing difficulty.

The patient was made to wait for hours for further treatment until his condition turned for the worst at about 6am.

He was rushed to the Emergency and Trauma Department's Red Zone, where a doctor performed CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) on Chandran, but he was pronounced dead at 6.31am.

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