Gleneagles to pay security guard's medical bill


Mr Thomas Lukose collapsed while on duty at Gleneagles Hospital last month.
Mr Thomas Lukose collapsed while on duty at Gleneagles Hospital last month.PHOTO: GIVE.ASIA

Hospital reviews case and makes offer after suggestion in ST commentary

A security guard who collapsed while on duty at Gleneagles Hospital last month will have his medical bill paid for by the private hospital.

Mr Thomas Lukose, 55, was initially billed $78,000 for treatment at Gleneagles Hospital, $13,500 of which was covered by his work insurance.

In a letter to The Straits Times published online yesterday, Mr Phua Tien Beng, acting chief executive officer for the Singapore operations division of Parkway Pantai, which Gleneagles is under, said Mr Lukose received timely and expert care from Gleneagles' doctors and staff, and made an excellent recovery.

Responding to a commentary on Wednesday by The Straits Times' senior health correspondent Salma Khalik, which suggested that the hospital consider waiving the remainder of Mr Lukose's hospital bill not covered by insurance and MediShield Life, Mr Phua said: "Having reviewed the case, we have decided that the hospital should cover his outstanding medical bill."

He added: "It is the right thing to do. We regret the anxiety caused."

An appeal had originally been put up on crowdfunding site Give.Asia to help pay the medical bill for Mr Lukose.

He suffered a heart attack on Sept 12 at Gleneagles Hospital while on night duty, and was immediately taken to the hospital's emergency department.

Though his family had wanted to transfer him to the National Heart Centre Singapore the next day - as his insurance covered him for only subsidised care - at the time, the heart centre had no spare bed in its intensive care unit.

RIGHT THING TO DO

Having reviewed the case, we have decided that the hospital should cover his outstanding medical bill... It is the right thing to do. We regret the anxiety caused.

MR PHUA TIEN BENG, acting chief executive officer for the Singapore operations division of Parkway Pantai.

Arrangements were made for the centre, which offered a bed to Mr Lukose on Sept 15, to take over his care.

However, the cardiothoracic surgeon who treated Mr Lukose, Dr Sriram Shankar, said it would have been risky to transfer him as he was critically ill, and that his treatment needed to be expedited.

Mr Lukose later received open-heart surgery, with three coronary artery bypass grafts, at Gleneagles Hospital.

Dr Shankar did not charge for his services.

The crowdfunding appeal raised more than $24,000 as of yesterday morning.

Mr Phua said in his letter that Mr Lukose and his family have accepted the hospital's offer to pay his outstanding medical bill.

In a comment on the Give.Asia page - which is no longer accepting donations - Mr Lukose's brother Daniel acknowledged that Gleneagles Hospital chief executive officer Lee Shen Ming had informed the family of the offer, and thanked donors for their generosity.

As for all the donations received, "we wi ll be donating to the next person in need, and we will be updating on this site", he said.

"Once again, thank you very much for coming forward to help, and we are truly blessed and thankful to each and every one of you."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2017, with the headline 'Gleneagles to pay security guard's medical bill'. Print Edition | Subscribe