81 Year Old With Fractured Arm Waited For 6 Hours At SGH A&E Before Being Treated

My 81-year-old mother had a fall on Jan 19 and I took her to a polyclinic, where an X-ray showed she had fractured her left hand.

The doctor referred us to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of Singapore General Hospital to get her hand set in a cast.

We arrived there at 1.35pm and waited for 5.5 hours before she was seen by a doctor. After the 15-minute consultation, we had to wait another 40 minutes before a nurse was available to assist the doctor to place my mum’s hand in a cast.

During the time we were at the hospital, I noticed many other elderly people waiting for hours to see the doctor. They did not dare to leave the area in case their numbers were called, and the staff had no idea when they would be seen.

The experience raised several questions and observations.

First, why was my mum referred to the A&E when she was a non-critical case? I am quite certain she would have been seen earlier if she had been referred to a different department.

Second, there were not enough chairs or wheelchairs in the A&E waiting area. My mum had to remain standing after her X-ray and also to collect her medicine.

Third, the staff should be more helpful and sympathetic to the waiting patients, especially the elderly. Perhaps hot drinks like Milo could have been provided, especially if patients have waited for hours.

Lastly, since it is known that the wait at the A&E can be long, why hasn’t anything been done about it? Although there are 10 consultation rooms, only five were used. Is there a critical shortage of doctors?

Something is seriously wrong if we have such an inefficient A&E system in a country known for its efficiency. I hope the Health Ministry will look into this.

Jill Hum (Ms)

Letter first appeared in ST Forum (1 Feb).


Source: www.tremeritus.com

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