Case ‘closed’ on miscarriage at NUH: minister

National University Hospital on Lower Kent Ridge Road. Photo: Alphabet
National University Hospital on Lower Kent Ridge Road. Photo: Alphabet

National University Hospital was not responsible for the death of an unborn baby that ignited public anger, a top health official said today in Parliament.

Responding to a question from the opposition, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said the hospital had completed its review of last month’s tragedy and deemed the case “closed” after the initial accusations were withdrawn regarding a pregnant woman who lost her baby.

“Indeed she received attention and care from the NUH emergency department team from the time she arrived. They further noted that the sad and unfortunate outcome of the pregnancy was not the result of her experience at the hospital,” he said.

Days after the case went viral last month and NUH apologized, the husband who anonymously leveled charges that emergency room neglect cost their unborn son’s life changed his story.

After meeting with hospital heads, he reportedly admitted that nurses did check on his wife at intervals after all, and said he “realized” the miscarriage may not have happened in the emergency ward.

He apologized for the “unintended speculation and abuse of staffs,” thanked them for saving his wife and said he would not comment further.

His reversal angered many, with some calling him a “joke” whose actions were “disgusting.” They demanded he apologize personally to the medical staff involved. 

A number of commentators suggested that he had been pressured into changing his story.

Regardless, Puthucheary said today that the case was “closed” after the man’s retraction but did not go into the details of the case for privacy reasons.

Instead, he said the hospital’s improved communications and transfer protocols would be “more acceptable to the patients and their families” and promised that all patients, particularly those at high-risk, will be cared for.

“The lessons will be learned and shared across our healthcare system,” he said.

“All patients will be triaged based on presenting history, symptoms, and clinical parameters so that those with life-threatening conditions are prioritized. No patient will be denied care,” he added.

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