Apex Court rules that CGH’s negligence had cause woman’s cancer to develop

Ms Noor Azlin

The Court of Appeal (CA) ruled on Tuesday (Feb 26) that a patient with lung cancer would have been diagnosed and received treatment earlier were it not for the negligence of Changi General Hospital (CGH) and its medical system.

Ms Noor Azlin, was diagnosed with lung cancer in Feb 2012, had sued CGH and three doctors who attended to her from 2007 to 2011 in the High Court earlier. She had argued that their negligence in detecting her cancer caused a delay in her treatment.

Although her earlier claim was dismissed by the High Court, she had successfully appealed her case. In the CA’s judgement, it noted that the hospital “did not have a system in place to properly record decisions made” or to ensure that patients get proper follow-up medical care.

While the hospital had a system that routed radiological reports ordered by the emergency department back for review, the CA noted that it [made] little sense” as the emergency department focuses on acute episodes and hence had little time to review such reports.

Additionally, the emergency doctors did not have complete information about a patient’s visit and Ms. Noor’s visits were “seemingly treated as an isolated incident” and there was “no evidence of any consolidation of what was already known about her.”

There were two emergency doctors who had reviewed the radiological reports but had decided against a radiologist’s recommendation to follow-up.

The CA said that the “sole respiratory specialist had erroneously concluded that the opacity as seen on the chest X-ray was resolving or had resolved. Yet, the system did not alert any of the six doctors.”

As a result, Ms. Noor “with a persistent nodule in her lung having been seen by only one respiratory specialist over a period of four years.”

The appropriate procedure would have been for such radiological reports should have been reviewed and assessed by a respiratory physician. In failing to do so, the hospital’s system of reviewing radiological reports did not allow for the comprehensive management of a patient.

This system caused a lack of accountability, as both patients and subsequent doctors did not know the decision that was made on their case.

In Ms. Noor’s case, she should have been diagnosed and given the appropriate treatment when she had visited the CGH’s emergency department for the third time in July 2011. Judge Andrew Phang said that this delay in diagnosis allowed the aggressive lung cancer to progress.

The Court of Appeal noted that Ms Noor’s cancer is now at the fourth stage and had encouraged the hospital to consider a settlement with her “in the interests of expediency and resolution.”

 

 

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10 Responses to “Apex Court rules that CGH’s negligence had cause woman’s cancer to develop”

  • LIONS:

    this is an obvious case,ruling otherwise would be too openly prejudicial,isnt it?

    our civil servants including from such NOBLE PROFESSIONS like medical doctors must be more humble in SERVICE and uphold the highest INTEGRITY as per CIVIL SERVICE MOTTO OF SERVICE,EXCELLENCE AND INTEGRITY.

    maybe KEE CHIU MINISTER WANT TO REITERATE THIS POINT?

    KEE CHIU,WHERE ARE YOU?

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  • rukidding:

    Back in 2007, my friend had ezema ( swollen leg).

    Also went to CGH emergency because was told and advised by family clinic doctor that CGH “q” was shorter !

    Was then “diagnosed” as “Heart failure”.

    Also spent 6 mths “follow up”…at Heart clinic.

    Finally while he was warded again on the seventh month,…luckily there was a new physician ( ang mo ) that was attached to CGH.

    He noticed that something was not right…it couldn’t be “heart failure”….so he arranged for a Kidney doctor from SH to come down to give a final opinion.

    Low and behold,….it was really a Kidney failure and not heart failure.

    My friend was then “quickly” transferred to SG care ! ( because back then only SGH has a kidney dept and all other hospital do not have a specialist kidney clinic ).

    Wel,…I guess my fren was “luckier” than the lady above,….any discovery later,..maybe my fren would have also been a “bye, bye” case .

    Has CGH realy improved ???,,…your guess as good as mine ???

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  • Fake Talents Invasion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yti4OvA5504

    KNN, fake qualification and fake blood tests all can missed out and fake talent penetrated important institution exposing students to unnecessary risks.

    But when the MP said “no system that is able to exhaustively keep out those who are out to lie and cheat”, I begin to worry whether the ministries are invaded with fraudsters and cheaters around?

    What a disappointment, no one is accountable.! WTF.

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  • Bapak:

    Your story or friend’s experience sounds familiar, where all the doctors supposed to fix the patients instead they fixed the Opposition. Ah now I remember, that patient’s name is called SINGAPORE. Sama sama. There are Quack Doctors, there are Quack Politicians too.

    rukidding:
    Back in 2007, my friend had ezema ( swollen leg).

    Also went to CGH emergency because was told and advised by family clinic doctor that CGH “q” was shorter !

    Was then “diagnosed” as “Heart failure”.

    Also spent 6 mths “follow up”…at Heart clinic.

    Finally while he was warded again on the seventh month,…luckily there was a new physician ( ang mo ) that was attached to CGH.

    He noticed that something was not right…it couldn’t be “heart failure”….so he arranged for a Kidney doctor from SH to come down to give a final opinion.

    Low and behold,….it was really a Kidney failure and not heart failure.

    My friend was then “quickly” transferred to SG care ! ( because back then only SGH has a kidney dept and all other hospital do not have a specialist kidney clinic ).

    Wel,…I guess my fren was “luckier” than the lady above,….any discovery later,..maybe my fren would have also been a “bye, bye” case .

    Has CGH realy improved ???,,…your guess as good as mine ???

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  • CGH - 'Cannot Go Home':

    I had friends, colleague, uncle and aunties and in laws who went into CGH and never come out forever. Indeed very scary.

    The most probable reasons are a lack of equipment and many sub-standard foreign nurses and doctors.

    You stand a better chance at SGH (‘Sure Go Home’)

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  • Blame SMA:

    A treatment protocol would have saved this patient from Stage IV cancer. Sadly, local doctors do not like it because of their hubris. They consider protocols “cookbook medicine”.

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  • Can APEX help with Pinky vs Leong case with impartiality?

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  • nizhemoshou:

    one thing I know for sure is she must be a subsidised patient.Less likely it could happen to non subsidised class patient who see the same specialist from day one. .
    Unlike in the long past, when polyclinic referred patients to hospital , it really means the patient will get to see a qualified specialist to further investigate his ailment. It isnt the case anymore for subsidised patients. They are now seen by non specialist or junior doctors no better than the doctors at polyclinics and whats more, they wont necessarily get to see the same doctor for their follow up visits. Good luck to them if they require many more follow up visits and attended each time by different doctors . .
    This situation is aggravated by the notoriously long delay in treatment due to long waiting for their appointment be it to see the hospital doctor or for tests ordered by the doctor. Good luck to them if they require more tests or different type of tests before a diagnosis as they would be given different appointment dates for each of the tests Meanwhile patients without the means to switch to pte or non subsidised class will have to bear with all the discomfort n pain of their illness at home.

    The lack of personalised attention from different doctors , atendance by non specialist doctor and long appointments dates are reasons why a situation can easily arise as in this case for doctor failing to record his decision n next doctor wouldn’t know about it n not discerning enough to know anything amiss until it is too late for the patient .
    Chao PAPaya hospital system really sucks for subsidised patients. They are so focused on making as much profit from sick sgs , things can only get worse for subsidized cases.

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Everybody take note of the picture of Ms Noor Azlin, was diagnosed with lung cancer and at stage 4. At stage 4 lung cancer is almost incurable and definitely most likely will not survive. The curious thing is that this woman Ms Noor Azlin with stage 4 lung cancer still can be photographed as shown above to be so plump and have lots of fats? Decades back both my dad and mom with stage 4 cancer are so skinny almost to the bone. So the government and the court better check on hercstage 4 cancer to see whether her stage 4 cancer is fake or not? Else, insurance money may get conned off.

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  • could not take solid food:

    //stage 4 lung cancer still can be photographed as shown above to be so plump and have lots of fats?//

    aiyoh. photograph could be taken before stage 4 lar (it could be stage 3, 2, 1).

    //Decades back both my dad and mom with stage 4 cancer are so skinny almost to the bone.//

    and this is true. and yes skinny almost to the bone. the last stage usually bed-ridden and may be unconscious on drips (could not take solid food) and on painkiller to kill off or alleviate the pain.

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