How should MOH have responded?

It seems that I’m not the only one who think that MOH’s responses to WP and Rachel Chang are inappropriate. Devadas Krishnadas also thinks so:

Screenshot from Devadas Krishnadas' Facebook page

Screenshot from Devadas Krishnadas’ Facebook page

There were people commenting on the post that there is no need for a COI, and that WP is politicising the incident. All that is besides the point. The point is that it is the prerogative of WP, as it is with any Singaporean, to ask questions of our government and provide suggestions that we believe will make the system better. In fact, as I had pointed out in my earlier blog post, PM Lee and DPM Tharman have explicitly encouraged all Singaporeans to be actively involved.

I concede that there may well be very good reasons why there is no need to convene a COI yet. But that doesn’t absolve MOH of the responsibility to properly explain and elaborate those reasons to us.

In my attempt to heed the call of PM Lee and DPM Tharman and be a citizen that is actively involved in Singapore, let me suggest to MOH what it can do to salvage this PR fiasco that it has found itself in. MOH could (or perhaps should?) explain in simple and frank terms the following:

  1. What the threshold is before needing to convene a COI;
  2. Why this case hasn’t crossed that threshold while the MRT breakdowns and Little India riot have;
  3. Why the Independent Review Committee and police report is sufficient for now;
  4. State that if after the findings of the Independent Review Committee and the police report reveal that the threshold for convening a COI has been passed, then MOH will convene a COI.

With the army of corporate communications professionals working in MOH/the government, I am sure that MOH would be able to craft a frank, simple and easy to understand message that addresses the points above. That would go a long way in restoring public confidence in the entire process of uncovering the truth in the SGH case.

[Featured image: Professor Fong Kok Yong, chairman of Singapore General Hospital’s medical board, giving a media briefing on Oct 6 on the hepatitis C outbreak. ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN]


9 thoughts on “How should MOH have responded?

  1. The Press Secretary to the Health Minister also happens to be the Quality Service Manager for the ministry. The first thing she needs to do is go for training; she seems to have forgotten she is a civil servant.

    The sheer arrogance and tone of the response is totally out of place.

    Has the Health Minister got anything to say ?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why do people assume the Health Minister didn’t okay the replies? Do you honestly think Ms Lim went on a frolic of her own in answering? NO.

    The defensive stance was evident when MOH first replied to Rachel Pang’s article. It just followed on from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you meant Rachel Chang. And yes. I think the Min probably cleared the response. Which bewilders me… I would have thought GKY would have adopted a less adversarial tone… sigh…


      • Yes Rachel Chang. Apologies. Well, it’s just that this request came from WP. Had it come from any NCMP, i doubt the tone would be this curt. I still don’t get why WP need to give evidence if a COI were to be convened? What evidence?

        This whole episode just exemplifies why the opposition is required in PARLIAMENT. Altogether, it is disappointing set of circumstances being treated in a way that is all too familiar to Singaporeans. Had this occurred anywhere else in the world, public calls for GKY’s resignation would have surfaced. I dunno, maybe this episode just shows Singaporeans to be flaccid in demanding their rights over Government?

        Liked by 1 person

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