SUNGAI PETANI: It would only take 10 minutes for doctors to do an ECG (electrocardiogram) and appropriately diagnose Chandran Subramaniam, a 51-year-old roti canai seller, for heart complications.
Instead, he had to endure a painful five-hour wait from midnight due to an initial misdiagnosis of gastric issues at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (HSAH) before appropriate action was taken.
Tragically, it was a little too late as he succumbed to his ailments at the hospital's emergency and trauma department at 6.31am last Sunday.
Chandran's eldest son, Sathia Chandran shared that his father could only cry in pain during the harrowing hours, unable to convey any last words to him.
The 29-year-old hardware store worker believed that had the medical workers at the hospital taken his pleas for help seriously, his father would have still been alive.
"I frantically sought help from several doctors and medical workers casually loafing around in the premises. They insisted on having my father wait for his turn.
"It was only at 5am, when his condition had worsened that he was rushed to the red zone after another ECG test. That was when a doctor informed me that his condition is critical.
"An hour later, a doctor told me my father's heart had stopped beating, and they were trying to revive him. If only they had acted quicker, my father could still be here," he said when contacted today.
Sathia said that prior to the second ECG test, medical workers at the hospital brushed off his father's condition as nothing unusual.
"In the end, all that I received from the doctor was a small apology for my father's death," he added.
Sathia said he was now left with a daunting struggle to provide for his 50-year-old mother, a housewife, and four younger siblings all by himself.
"I am very upset over what had happened, my father couldn't even utter any valuable last words to me. All he could do was just scream in pain.
"My father told me before he died that we were going to visit family in Butterworth during the school break, but those plans are now shattered," he added.
Lawyer Dr Shamsher Singh Thind, representing Chandran's family, confirmed that a police report had been filed against assistant medical officers and doctors at HSAH for alleged death by negligence.
"My clients have reported this case to the police and the police should investigate this case under Section 304(A) of the Penal Code for causing death by negligence," he said when contacted.
Shamsher stressed that the family demanded not only compensation but also strict action against all of the medical officers and doctors involved to prevent such incidents from happening again.
Yesterday, it was reported that the family was demanding the Health Ministry (MoH) to form an independent panel to investigate the incident.
Shamsher reportedly said the family demanded 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.
He said the family had lost faith in the HSAH management to carry out the investigation.