We thank Dr Tan Chek Wee for his letter (Be sensitive to hearing impaired; July 6) and are sorry for the experience his friend encountered at our Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) centre.
We would like to assure Dr Tan that being sensitive to our patients' needs is a priority for us.
At our ENT centre, we use various methods to better communicate with our hearing-impaired patients such as conversing at a slower rate of speech, using visual cues, talking in a quieter room and, in many instances, typing text in an enlarged font size on the desktop computer during clinical consultations.
For patients who express challenges in communicating over the telephone, our staff actively engage with them through e-mail following the consultation.
If patients do not have access to e-mail, our staff try to send messages to their mobile phone.
We take this feedback seriously and are concerned that these available measures were not provided to Dr Tan's friend.
We hope that he can share more details with us on the issues faced at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barrie Tan (Dr)
Head, Department of Otolaryngology
Director, Centre for Hearing and Ear Implants
Singapore General Hospital