Wake Up, Singapore POFMA-ed for KKH Saga Even When They’ve Clarified About the Incident

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news regarding the National University Hospital (NUH) miscarriage issue, you’ve probably heard of the Wake Up, Singapore (WUSG) saga as well.

And if you’ve been following up with the latter, you’ll probably know by now that whatever they posted regarding a woman’s experience at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) was fake.

Er, ya. Crazy times, I know.

And if you have no idea what on earth I’m talking about, here‘s all you need to know to catch up:

On Friday (25 March), WUSG posted an apology on their social media pages after claiming that they had been “lied to at every turn” by a woman who told them that she had a miscarriage at KKH which was handled extremely unprofessionally.

So basically, the whole of Singapore got angry and concerned over nothing lah.

Minutes into today (28 March), the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that it had asked the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) to issue a correction direction to WUSG for their false reporting of “a 20-weeks pregnant patient who had allegedly suffered a miscarriage after waiting four hours to see a doctor at KKH”.

And, yah. This isn’t the first time that WUSG has gotten POFMA-ed.

Miscarriage Did Not Even Occur

KKH was able to determine who the patient was through the hospital bill screenshots that WUSG had posted. However, MOH also highlighted that there were discrepancies between the woman’s account of events and the hospital bill.

After KKH conducted its investigations, it was confirmed that the woman was attended to less than an hour after she arrived at KKH.

Here’s the main thing: She didn’t suffer a miscarriage.

Yup, your eyes aren’t lying to you. (The patient did.)

The incident took place in February, earlier this year.

WUSG’s Apology and KKH’s Response

Apart from its public apologies and announcements that they had been lied to by the patient on Facebook and Instagram, WUSG also apologised to KKH on Friday (25 March).

They did so after KKH lodged a police report on the same day and accused the woman of making an “incorrect” statement.

Chief Executive Officer of KKH Professor Alex Sia mentioned in a statement, “KKH would like to clarify that the online report on the incident at the Urgent Obstetrics and Gynaecology Centre (UOGC) is incorrect.

“We can definitively say that there is no such scenario. We have since made a police report.”

Well, that’s when everything started to unfold at a crazily fast rate.

MOH’s Response and POFMA

Although MOH acknowledged the apology posts that WUSG had put up, the ministry also pointed out that the accusations that WUSG had posted were of much severity and have been spread across other social media platforms.

“This could lead to the erosion of public trust in the credibility and professionalism of our healthcare system and institutions,” the ministry explained.

Based on the correction direction, WUSG will need to publish correction notes according to the POFMA Office’s direction for all their web pages and social media posts that mention these falsehoods.

A short while after MOH’s statement was released, WUSG posted their correction notes. They did so at 12.24 am on Facebook, and on Instagram as well afterwards.

WUSG’s Follow Up

Yup, it still isn’t over yet. Buckle your seatbelts.

Just yesterday (26 March) afternoon, WUSG published a post titled “What Happened” on their web page, which detailed the various conversations that the news site had with the woman.

The post provided its perspective of the issue and how they came to publish the woman’s story, and included more than 50 screenshots of messages between WUSG’s Instagram account and the woman as well.

WUSG also admitted to its uncertainty towards the woman’s actions at some point, but chose to believe her anyway before she told the news site that she had lied.

WUSG ended its post by saying, “No matter how much we apologise, we cannot undo what we have done. We write to take accountability and to show everyone what happened. We seek your forgiveness, and we are again sorry for letting you down.

“We don’t know if we will publish again or continue to operate.

“Whatever happens, we will face the consequences of our actions.

“If we do not publish again, in addition to seeking your forgiveness, we would also like to thank you for journeying with us.”

It also mentioned, “We are sorry to our readers and the good people of KKH. We will face the consequences of our actions and take responsibility.

“As mentioned yesterday, we will co-operate with investigations and do what is necessary.”

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In response to the entire WUSG saga, MOH responded by saying, “The Government takes a serious view of these falsehoods, which appear to have been fabricated. The matter has been referred to the relevant authorities for investigation.”

So I guess all we can do now is wait and see.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Wake Up, Singapore) & LisaAngeline123 / Shutterstock.com