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The Straits Times
September 19, 2023
Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) says it prioritises patients in emergency cases over the less serious ones, after an inpatient complained on TikTok that he had to buy painkillers via foodpanda after waiting for almost two hours at the hospital for the medicine.
In a Facebook post on Monday, SKH said it was aware of a TikTok video circulating online of a patient ordering Panadol via the food delivery app as a result “of an alleged lack of promptness by the hospital in addressing his needs”.
Addressing the allegation, SKH said it would like to assure the public that the patient’s care team had “rendered the appropriate care” based on his condition.
“SKH is committed to attending to every patient in a timely manner,” it added. “Patients with less acute conditions may sometimes experience longer waiting times compared with those who are being treated for serious urgent and life-threatening emergencies.”
In a video posted on TikTok on Sept 13, Mr Hamid Osman, who is also known as Jombadok on the social media channel, claims that he waited for his painkillers for almost two hours before he decided to order them via foodpanda.
“Can you imagine... (I’m) asking for Panadol and I cannot get the medicine from a first-world hospital... it is really ridiculous,” he says in the video.
Filming himself collecting his painkillers from a foodpanda delivery rider at the hospital lobby, he tells the rider, who appears surprised, about his situation. Mr Hamid does not say how long it took for his delivery to arrive.
He adds that it is his first time warded at SKH and he will be discharging himself from the hospital against medical advice the next day because he is unable to get medication from the hospital.
“No point. I might as well (stay) at home. I have my painkillers at home... (the hospital) is a let-down,” he says in the video.
When contacted, Mr Hamid, 55, said he was admitted for gangrene and an ulcer on his right heel on Sept 11.
“At about 8pm, I felt a sharp pain on my right heel so I asked for painkillers but the nurses were very busy and I waited for almost two hours before I ordered Panadol through Foodpanda,” the content creator said, adding that he did not eventually ask for an early discharge as he realised that he had to attend a few more medical tests.
“In hindsight, SKH is not that bad. The nurses have been very helpful and they’ve also explained that I cannot anyhow take medicine from outside the hospital. I understand that they also need to wait for the doctor’s approval before they can administer the medication to me,” said Mr Hamid.
He was discharged on Sept 15 and will be going for his gangrene operation on Friday to amputate one toe.
In response to queries, SKH said they are sorry that the patient felt that he did not have a comfortable experience.
“In the case of a new admission, all medications must be approved by the doctor for patient safety and ordered through the system for record purposes,” the hospital said, adding that the patient has been certified medically fit for discharge.