SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) will work with the National University Hospital (NUH) to thoroughly investigate an incident involving a pregnant woman who waited two hours at the hospital’s emergency department (ED). Her baby was later found by doctors to have no fetal heartbeat at the labour ward.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said this in a Facebook post on Friday (March 25).
He said he had been following the incident with deep concern while in Malaysia on a work trip.
He said: "I am very sorry to hear about the loss of baby Titus. As a parent myself, I can fully understand the anguish of the family."
He said he had also discussed the matter with Singapore's director of medical services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak.
Mr Ong added: "We know that NUH has been in contact with the family and extending full support to them. MOH will work with NUH on a thorough investigation of the matter.
"We take a serious view of such incidents, and any lapses or shortcomings will be rectified. Any lessons will be shared with the rest of the healthcare system to ensure such incidents do not happen again."
Mr Ong stressed that it was very important to continue supporting Singapore's healthcare workers, whatever the outcome of the investigations.
He added that there have been more reports of abuse of healthcare workers recently.
He said: "I seek everyone's understanding that in this pandemic crisis, healthcare workers have been going through a very challenging and difficult time.
"On top of taking care of Covid-19 patients and subjecting themselves to risk, they have been doing their very best to ensure all emergency cases are properly attended to.
"Let's continue to show them support and understanding, even as NUH fully investigates the matter."
NUH chief executive Aymeric Lim on Wednesday apologised for the incident and said the hospital should have done more to provide closer monitoring and care to the woman.
He added that it was reviewing its process of managing expectant patients admitted into the ED so that such incidents do not happen again.
Correction note: This article has been edited for clarity.