Ministry to review NS trainees’ health proceduresPosted: May 10, 2008
PETALING JAYA: Operating procedures for health matters regarding national service trainees will be reviewed.
Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday this would include requiring trainees to provide a more up-to-date and indepth details of their health condition on derclaration forms.
He was commenting on the death of trainee Too Hui Min at the Slim River Hospital on Wednesday. She had been stationed at the Geo Kosmo National Service Training Camp .
Hours earlier she had complained of an upset stomach while undergoing firearms training at the shooting range in Jugra in Banting, Selangor.
Her family said she had complained of constipation for three days before she died and they want to know why camp officials did not take her to the hospital earlier.
Liow said the cause of death had been determined as being toxic megacolon and her colon had been swollen and the lining had thinned due to septicemia.
“I have directed our director-general to investigate the incident and determine is there was negligence,” he said.
“From what we were told, she was sent to the hospital quite late and that was because she was at the shooting range which was hours away from the camp.”
He said that Too was examined by the camp’s medical attendant when she returned to the camp and was immediately sent to the Slim River Hospital.
“That took another hour . By then, it was too late.”
Full article here.
When I read the title, I thought, “At last they’re doing something to address the serious health issues in the NS camps”.
I can’t believe how naive I still am.
Of all things, the Health Minister wants the trainees to provide more information on their health issues before they go to camp.
I feel like shaking this Minister, or maybe even strangle him for a bit. What is he trying to imply? That it’s because these trainees didn’t provide enough information on their health conditions, and that’s why so many of them have fell ill and died?
Like as if they wanted to die in the first place.
These people in the Government need some serious waking up. The only health procedures that need to be reviewed are the ones that they need to provide. They need to make sure that all health and safety issues are addressed properly. They need to make sure that the camps are clean, healthy and safe. They need to make sure that every camp has the necessary equipment and facitilities to provide the trainers and trainees with adequate health measures.
If anything, the Government needs to review the entire programme.
In the case of Too Hui Min’s death at camp, everything Liow Tiong Lai said was “it was too late“. Earth to Liow, we all KNOW that it was too late. The hospitals couldn’t do anything by the time she was sent there. We’re not questioning the hospitals. We’re questioning why it took so long to send her there.
Liow Tiong Lai doesn’t come with a “Dr.” in front of his name, so I’m guessing that he’s no doctor. Well, one doesn’t have to be a doctor to be Health Minister, but surely some general knowledge of health conditions would fare will with his job description?
Does he even KNOW what septicemia is? And how it is caused? And what the symptoms are?
If the base for his proposal to get the trainees to provide a more in-depth report on their health conditions stems from this Too Hui Min’s death, then he’s definitely getting everything all wrong. One look into Google Search, and we can all know that septicemia is not a condition that stays with a person for long. In fact, it is something that kills the patient very very quickly.
How would a more in-depth report on health conditions help in this kind of situation?
If the Government doesn’t have the brains to carry this programme out, then scrap it. And scrap it before it records even more deaths. Take at least one whole year to rethink the programme, restructure it, and then make a proper proposal.
It may have started out with good intentions, but with this kind of outcome, anything good about it would be miniscule by now.