SingHealth sorry for report with 'HIV-positive' error

The examining doctor signed the pregnant woman off as being HIV-positive although the test showed a negative result.
The examining doctor signed the pregnant woman off as being HIV-positive although the test showed a negative result.PHOTO: STOMP

SingHealth has apologised after it mistakenly recorded a pregnant woman as HIV-positive in a medical report.

The Filipina, 34, had visited Outram Polyclinic on June 6 to get her Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) medical examination report certified, said citizen journalism website Stomp on Thursday.

The examining doctor signed her off as being HIV-positive although the test showed a negative result.

To queries from The Straits Times, Dr Sinead Wang, clinic director of SingHealth Polyclinics - Outram, said: "We apologise unreservedly for the distress and anxiety caused to our patient and her family for the transcribing error in the ICA medical examination report.

"We have counselled the attending doctor and taken steps to strengthen our processes to ensure that this does not happen again."

SingHealth has since provided the woman with a corrected report.

SingHealth is one of three integrated healthcare clusters and consists of four public hospitals, five national speciality centres and a network of nine polyclinics.

The woman's husband, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ng, 36, told ST that the incident had caused strain to his marriage. He thought that his wife had been unfaithful, and said he had wanted a divorce after he saw the report.

Mr Ng, a Singaporean, and his wife have been married for four years, and have a two-year-old son. They are expecting their second child in January next year.

The sales manager said SingHealth took over a week to respond to him on the report's accuracy, which resulted in further distress for the couple. SingHealth, however, said it called Mr Ng three days after getting his query on June 8 to offer a corrected report.

Said Mr Ng: "With the strict processes here, I would never have expected the healthcare industry to make such a mistake. I was even telling her it cannot be a mistake."

He added: "To tick that particular (HIV-positive) box is ridiculous."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2018, with the headline 'SingHealth sorry for report with 'HIV-positive' error'. Print Edition | Subscribe