We’ve all heard of hospital horror stories, and no, we’re not talking about Old Changi Hospital-esque horror stories.
We’re talking about the horrors of seeking treatment at hospitals, be it the notoriously long waiting times at the emergency department or the insanely expensive medical fees.
This time, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) has been cast into the spotlight after allegations of the hospital’s failure to provide prompt care to patients surfaced on TikTok.
The hospital apparently took so long to furnish a patient with painkillers that the patient resorted to ordering these painkillers from foodpanda instead. SKH has since responded to these allegations.
SKH Patient Orders Painkillers from Foodpanda As His Request From Nurse Took Too Long
Last week, SKH found itself in the crosshairs of Singaporean netizens after a TikTok alleging a lack of promptness by the hospital surfaced.
@jombadok Cannot get Panadol at Sengkang Hospital #viraltiktok #viraltiktoksg #sgtiktok #fypシ #fyp #viral ♬ original sound – Jom Badok Nation
The TikTok was uploaded by the user @jombadok, who was warded at SKH when the TikTok was uploaded.
According to the user, he had requested Panadol from his ward’s nurse earlier in the day. However, two hours later, his request remained unmet.
Wah, two hours, you might as well walk down to 7-11 and buy Panadol on your own.
As a result, the patient decided to order painkillers from the popular delivery app foodpanda instead. According to the TikTok, the foodpanda delivery came within “minutes”.
The patient headed downstairs to what appeared to be the hospital block’s concierge to collect his painkillers from the foodpanda rider.
Upon sharing his story with the foodpanda rider, the rider made a tongue-in-cheek comment about how foodpanda was the “express service”.
I guess the ultimate winner of this viral story is foodpanda.
The patient also noted that this was his first time warded in SKH and expressed his disappointment with the hospital’s failure to deliver first-class medical care.
At least foodpanda appears to be providing first-class delivery services.
The patient also added that due to SKH’s lack of promptness, he was prepared to leave the hospital even against medical advice (AMA).
People always say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. However, I guess there’s a new axiom to use now: a lack of promptness keeps patients away.
SKH Responds to TikTok; Apologises for Alleged Lack of Promptness
The TikTok has since caught SKH’s eye and prompted a response from the public hospital.
On Monday (18 September), SKH shared a post on Facebook acknowledging the allegations against the hospital.
The hospital apologised for the alleged lapse in responding to the patient’s request promptly.
“We are sorry that the patient felt he did not have a comfortable experience,” the hospital wrote in its Facebook post.
Regardless, the hospital emphasised that the patient’s care team had “rendered the appropriate care based on his condition during his hospital stay”.
The hospital also added that patients with less acute conditions may experience longer waiting times compared to patients with more severe and urgent needs. Further, doctors must approve all medications before these medications are handed to patients.
Presumably, those are the reasons why the TikTok user still couldn’t get his painkillers even after two hours.
And remember what the patient said in his TikTok about discharging himself from the hospital AMA? In response, SKH shared that the patient has since been certified medically fit for discharge.
It appears that even if SKH’s medical staff might have lapsed in carrying out their job, SKH’s PR staff are pretty decent at their jobs.
A One-Time Lapse or a Persistent Occurrence?
Regardless, it seems like SKH’s PR crisis is far from over. In the comments of SKH’s Facebook post, a user, Janet Tan, recounts her “unbelievable” experience with SKH.
Spoiler alert: it’s not “unbelievable” in the way that most patients want their hospitalisation experience to be.
Janet shared that, on one occasion, she waited more than four hours for medication to be dispensed.
When she clarified with the medical staff why the medication took so long to be dispensed, all the medical staff were clueless.
On another occasion, when her son was at the emergency department for a fishing hook pierced into his finger, she had a similarly “unbelievable” experience. Amongst other alleged lapses, Janet claimed that despite having asked the ward to provide water to her son, the ward failed to do so, causing her son to nearly faint.
Perhaps she should have tried ordering water from foodpanda as well.
SKH has yet to respond to the comment left by the Facebook user.
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