Why didn't doctors come out to help?

PHOTO: Why didn't doctors come out to help?

SINGAPORE - She was in a gym in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 when she witnessed an accident through a large glass window.

Wanting to help, she ran to two nearby clinics to look for doctors.

But, both times, she left disappointed.

"The staff at both clinics didn't know how to react in an emergency. The doctors didn't come out to help," said customer-service officer Janice Choy, 25.

It happened just before 9am on Thursday.

That afternoon, Ms Choy wrote a complaint letter to the Singapore Medical Council and posted it on her Facebook page.

It went viral within minutes, after 72 people shared the letter directly from her wall and others posted it on online forums.

Ms Choy told The New Paper: "I was at the gym when I noticed that cars had stopped in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8. (The accident occurred) somewhere in front of a show-flat for Panorama Condo.

"An elderly woman was lying on the road. It seemed like she had been knocked down by a car."

Ms Choy was at the True Fitness gym located on the fourth floor of Djitsun Mall.

She added: "I had just had Lasik (surgery) done and I was able to see clearly. It was about 200m to 300m from the mall."

Wanting to help, she immediately ran, first to Raffles Medical Clinic, at Block 722, then to Healthway Medical Clinic at Block 721.

"At Raffles, the staff went to the door of the consultation room and spoke to the doctor. There was a patient inside. The doctor said there were too many patients there and that he couldn't leave. He also said that if an ambulance had been called, it would be there shortly," she said.

"I didn't want to wait around, so I went to the next clinic, Healthway. I doubt if the staff even informed the doctor. They were looking at each other and discussing among themselves," she said.

By then, Ms Choy said she was not only panicking, but also felt angry.

"I could see passers-by trying to help the woman who had been knocked down. They were not medically trained. Yet, the staff and doctors at these two clinics didn't even bother," she said.

When asked why she did not approach the nearby polyclinic, Ms Choy said she did not know that there was one.

She felt that she needed to help, as she has a friend who was involved in a motorcycle accident the week before and is still in intensive care.

"I felt hopeless then. This time, as I witnessed the accident, I thought I could really make a difference," she said.

"A colleague who happened to pass by the accident site said the woman's face had turned purple."

She added that, fortunately, a Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance arrived after about 10 minutes to administer aid.

The victim, a 55-year-old woman, suffered head injuries and was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

TNP understands that she is in a stable condition.

This article by The New Paper was published in MyPaper , a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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