Health Ministry: Be Wise In Handling Social Media Complaints — Dr Timothy Cheng

Patients will be encouraged to take pictures or videos of everything, which is often a breach of privacy.

I write this in response to the article “Health Ministry to probe case of houseman who injured baby while attempting to draw blood“, 1 Dec 2019.

The response of the ministry to the incident is most unwise and irresponsible. The ministry should have directed the people responsible for the post towards the hospital administration and not make such a knee-jerk, people-pleasing statement.

Responding in such a manner will set precedence for further social media “reports” on incidences in the hospitals. It will encourage patients to take pictures/videos of everything — which is often a breach of the privacy of other patients and staff.

It empowers irresponsible reporting and emboldens mischievous pranksters. Imagine if every patient with a grievance were to post something in social media — the mess that would result from it.

It also makes a mockery of the proper channels used to voice out complaints — which is to the hospital director. This will further render the already useless complaint boxes in hospitals further obsolete.

Please do not be surprised if after this incident, people turn to social media to complain without bothering to contact the hospital administration.

However it is laudable that the ministry actually pays attention to social media activity and I hope that the ministry will not ignore the calls to revamp doctors evaluation/assessment and training system; the uncertainty of junior doctors and healthcare facility failures.

Such issues affect doctors and patients in the entire nation — surely it warrants some prompt action too?

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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