Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Death of Encik Ahmad Nazri Ibrahim

This news report was published by The Sun on Monday January 25, 2010.

Hospital questioned over patient's death
Bernard Cheah

GEORGE TOWN (Jan 24, 2010): The Penang Hospital has been questioned over its procedures in treating serious cases after a chronic heart patient, who could not afford an urgent operation, died last week when the required guarantee of funds was late in coming.

Penang health, welfare and caring society committee chairman, Phee Boon Poh, took the hospital staff to task for not fully administering care to patient, Ahmad Nazri Ibrahim, 48, because he did not have money for the surgery immediately.

Phee said he has asked the state health department to explain the lack of proper treatment, as claimed by Ahmad Nazri’s family, which caused him to succumb to his ailment on Tuesday.

Ahmad Nazri had three cardiac blockages and had difficulty raising RM19,000 for the surgery at the hospital.

His relatives said last week, that the hospital had asked for a letter of guarantee from EPF, stating that money would be released for payment from the accounts of Ahmad Nazri and his wife Roszita Ahmad, 47.

The EPF instead issued a letter of confirmation to the Penang Hospital,  showing the available funds in Ahmad Nazri’s and Roszita’s accounts. The EPF said such a letter is accepted by public and private hospitals for serious cases.

The document was, however, deemed "not good enough" by the hospital.

When a guarantee letter required by the hospital was then issued by EPF on humanitarian grounds three weeks later on Jan 15, Ahmad Nazri’s condition worsened as his lungs were filled with water.

He died four days later.

Phee said he had asked the hospital if it had a standard operating procedure for such cases.

Questions are also being asked why the hospital rejected the EPF’s letter of confirmation.

Phee is scheduled to hold a meeting with EPF and the hospital today over the matter.

EPF public relations general manager, Nik Affendi Jaafar, told theSun last week that it was standard practice for the confirmation letter to be accepted by hospitals without any problems.

Although the EPF has never issued a guarantee letter to cover for medical expenses, it issued a special one for Ahmad Nazri on humanitarian grounds as the hospital wanted it in order to conduct surgery. -- theSun

Updated: 07:22PM Sun, 24 Jan 2010
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