32 year-old housewife Karen Koh has become the unfortunate victim of Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic’s poor management of its patients, which resulted in her makings several trips to and from the polyclinic, and which even resulted in her receiving the wrong vaccination!

According to Koh, she had gone to the polyclinic in May to have her blood drawn. She was told to fast before the tests and complied with the instructions.

After the test, she went to have her lunch, but soon realized that the receipt from her trip to the polyclinic did not include the test for cholesterol levels. She checked with a nurse, who told her that the staff had not taken her blood for the test and was told to return the next day to have her blood drawn again, as she had already eaten and could not do it again.

Unhappy with this arrangement, she spoke with a doctor, who ordered the nurse to divert some of the blood already taken.

Koh also suffered another incident of patient mismanagement when she tried to make payment for her treatments at the polyclinic using Medisave. She was informed by the cashier that she would not need to fill up a form, which is the usual procedure, and returned home. When at home, Koh received a call asking her to go down to the polyclinic again as the cashier had made an error and she was required to fill up a form.

Koh refused, and the cashier apologized. She offered to collect the form from Koh as it was her fault.

In a third incident, Koh had been bitten by a dog and went to the polyclinic for a tetanus vaccination. She was given a typhoid jab instead. The polyclinic reailzed their mistake soon after and called her the next day.

She was met by a team of doctors from the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), who explain the situation to her and check on her health to determine if she had suffered side effects from the typhoid jab. They revealed that both the nurses who handled her tetanus vaccination had not checked the label of the vaccination.

Koh told reporters that she was informed that the nurse “did not check the vaccine before administering it because she had been distracted” and the packaging for the two vaccines looked alike.

She added that the nurse had not followed protocol that required her to use the electronic immunisation system to verify the vaccine before administering it.

Koh has since received a refund of $25 for the injection, but not the $12.60 consultation fee. After Koh registered her complaints, NHGP later said that it would refund the consultation out of good will even though the doctor she consulted had handled her case “appropriately”. She has yet to receive her tetanus jab.

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