I am glad that following Salma Khalik's report that there have been a flurry of hospital and MOH responses appearing in today's Straits Times. If nothing else it would appear that they have taken cognizance of the groundswell of public concern.
It would appear that some sort of 'awareness' had arisen at their level back in 2007, and that there were some (albeit kinda half-hearted) attempts then to deal with the problem. That was back then. Hopefully this display of public angst may provoke them to adopt more concrete and enduring solutions.
So far, they seem only to be playing with numbers. Sure, there is a problem with definitions. But to sit back and wring their hands for 2 years knowing the stats are not meaningful because of a non-harmonised approach towards data collection smacks of a fairly large dose of a 'boh chap' attitude. I mean, if you are really interested in the data, it doesn't take too much effort to standardize the definition regardless of the limitations. And why not provide the public with a tracking of this problem over the years? Don't just tell us the comparisons between the worst year and the best. Don't fudge by playing with the denominator to make the numbers look miniscule (per patient days? errmmm...why not per patient seconds?). Is the situation really getting better as every hospital seem to suggest? If really so we shouldn't need to worry and these discussions would be totally unnecessary. But I suspect not, so give us the real news.
The MOH provides weekly stats of the reporting of of all kinds of infectious diseases. Why can't the MOH tell us the yearly-hospital incidences and let us judge for ourselves if the situation is really under control, and which hospital is really biting the bullet where this is concerned?
5 years ago