KUCHING, March 20: Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei will write to the Health Ministry for an internal investigation of the March 11 ambulance-lorry collision that allegedly led to the death of a patient.
The DAP lawmaker, on behalf of the family, wants to know if actions would be taken against any parties found guilty of negligence and not following protocol during the transportation of the deceased from a health clinic in Siburan to Serian Hospital
Wong asked whether it was a standard operating procedure (SOP) for an ambulance to be deployed to transport patients without sufficient fuel.
Secondly, he enquired whether the ambulance driver and medical assistant in attendance should have prioritised sending the deceased to the hospital instead of settling their issues with the other party involved in the collision.
“The Sarawak Health Department owes an explanation to the family. An internal enquiry has to be conducted to investigate the matter.
“The ambulance driver and medical officer on duty should be prudent enough to ensure immediate treatment of their patient, whether it is in the ambulance or the hospital,” he told reporters after visiting the deceased’s family at their residence at Mile 17, Jalan Kuching-Serian, today.
According to the deceased’s son Lai Yen Li, 20, his father, Lai Kim, was brought to a nearby health clinic after complaining of severe stomach pain.
After examination, the attending medical personnel declared the case as an emergency situation and called for an ambulance to rush Lai Kim to Serian Hospital.
Wong said according to the family, they departed the clinic around 9am. On the way to the hospital, the ambulance stopped at a petrol station to refuel, and this was when the ambulance got knocked by a lorry.
It took about an hour for the ambulance driver and the medical assistant to settle the matter with the lorry driver. After that, they went to the police station to lodge a report, and the deceased was left to wait in the ambulance with the accompanying family members.
While waiting, wife Jong Kim Fah checked on her husband. Realising that he had turned cold, they immediately called the medical assistant, who then spent about 15 minutes attempting to revive the deceased before the deceased was pronounced dead at around 10.30am.
“According to the death certificate, there was no reason given for the cause of death, other than died of natural causes (old age).
“There has to be a reason why the deceased had to be rushed to Serian Hospital following his stomachache. There was no examination on the body, no post mortem. The deceased was sent back to the clinic to be brought home by the family,” Wong said.
He added that prior to the incident, the deceased did not suffer any serious illness, apart from having high blood pressure.
Wong opined that the ambulance driver and medical assistance should have fulfilled their duties first and brought the patient to Serian Hospital immediately.
“This is gross negligence on the part of those in charge. Necessary actions have to be taken to ensure there would not be a repeat of such incidents.
“When it comes to emergency medical treatment, every minute counts. Their conduct was uncalled for,” he said.
The deceased, Lai Kim, was 65. — DayakDaily