KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today promised to release the independent inquiry’s findings on the deadly 2016 fire at Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru Hospital (HSA), if there is no more ongoing litigation.
On Tuesday, the High Court in Johor Baru struck out three negligence lawsuits filed against the government by the parents of Logeswaran Krishnasamy, Choo Lin Fong, and Kaliama Muniandy, who were patients that died in the October 25, 2016 fire disaster at the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital.
The cases were dismissed because the lawsuits were filed in September 2020, beyond the three-year statute of limitations on lawsuits or prosecution of public authorities.
The parents of a fourth victim, Neeramaladevi Chandran, settled their lawsuit with the government in August 2020 for RM136,000 in damages after filing suit in the nick of time on October 24, 2019, while the next-of-kin of the remaining two victims — Yusuf Hasan and Toh Ah Wah — did not litigate.
“Yes, if there are no more claims in court, then we can publish the report later,” Khairy told a press conference, when CodeBlue asked if he would table the independent committee’s report on the HSA fire in the upcoming Parliament meeting due to the disposal of the three court cases.
Independent committee chairman Mohd Hishamudin Yunus and his deputy, former Health director-general Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, have urged Khairy to publish their investigation on the HSA fire tragedy, as per the recommendations of the committee.
Former Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad, his former deputy Dr Lee Boon Chye, Dewan Rakyat health, science and innovation special select committee chairman Dr Kelvin Yii, and Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasir have similarly called for the health minister to publish the independent inquiry’s report in the upcoming Parliament meeting that starts on February 28.
The independent investigation, sighted by CodeBlue that published four articles in March 2020 on its report, concluded that one of the underlying causes that led to the deaths of the six patients in the HSA fire was the lack of preparedness by hospital management and staff at the public facility.