Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hospitals slow post-mortem service

A revelation by T. Murugiah, a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department about the slow service by Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in conducting a post-mortem is just a tip of an iceberg.

T. Murugiah said “It takes about two hours to conduct a post-mortem. Why was there a delay when the hospital is well-equipped,”, adding that he was scolded by the deceased’s family when he went to the hospital. It's a no surprise because Malaysia have a first world facility but third world mentality.

In hospitals in East Malaysia, the next of kin have to wait for days for the body of the beloved one to be autopsied because the hospital have to wait for the doctor from another town to fly. In other cases, the doctor is attending course or on leave, thus delaying the autopsy. At times, it look like there is only one autopsy doctor in East Malaysia.

Is there is a shortage in autopsy doctor or their manpower planning was not organized properly ? This slow post-mortem service not only delay police investigation but also give undue stress to the family of the victim.

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From TheStar

Hospitals rapped for slow service

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator T. Murugiah has taken to task hospitals that take too long to conduct post-mortems.

This had brought distress to the families, he said.

Murugiah, who oversees the Public Complaints Bureau, said he received a complaint on Friday and decided to check it out personally.

He said the police had sent the body of a murder victim, believed to have been killed on Wednesday, to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia at 4pm on Thursday.

“The family complained to me at 9.30am on Friday that the body has not been released because the post-mortem has not been conducted.

“I called the hospital and sent a letter to them (asking them) to explain. They promised to conduct a post-mortem that morning and the body was released at 12.30pm.

“It takes about two hours to conduct a post-mortem. Why was there a delay when the hospital is well-equipped,” he said, adding that he was scolded by the deceased’s family when he went to the hospital.

Murugiah said public service providers in the government or private sector should be efficient and not make people unhappy because in the end the Govern­ment would bear the brunt of the public’s anger.

“A trivial matter, if not brought under control, will become a big issue. That is how the Government loses public support,” he said after attending a Deeparaya event organised by the Kelab Golongan Kurang Upaya.

Murugiah said the Government could also reprimand private hospitals for offering poor services.

“We cannot wash our hands off (the matter) when there are problems,” he said.

On another issue, Murugiah said many handicapped people did not know that they were entitled to a RM300 monthly allowance while caregivers of those totally dependent were entitled to a RM200 allowance.

They can approach his bureau for help to apply for the allowance or go straight to the department, he said.

“As long they have their disabled person card they are eligible. The officer will verify their status and they can receive their allowance quite fast. A good idea is to get their associations to assist them to apply for the allowance,” he said.

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