Monday, June 25, 2007

Patient did not settle hospital bills

NST: ALOR STAR, Mon: The Alor Star Hospital said a patient, who claimed doctors had left a plastic tube in her abdomen after surgery in 2004, discharged herself and did not settle the bills.
Hospital staff tried to contact Rusinah Yatim as she was supposed to have had the tube removed two weeks after undergoing the surgery, but failed.
In a statement yesterday, Kedah Health Department director Dr Hasnah Ismail said a nurse contacted the patient’s mobile phone and also sent an SMS.
"The hospital called to give her the discharge slip and appointment card but there was no reply."
Dr Hasnah said Rusinah left the hospital on Nov 30, 2004, two days after undergoing surgery to remove renal stones.
Doctors placed a plastic tube,known as a Double J Stent, into her left ureter to ensure the passageway was constantly open and not clogged.
Dr Hasnah said the stent should remain not more than three months after the surgery.
The mother of four claimed doctors had been negligent in failing to remove the tube, causing her great pain.
She underwent another surgery on Thursday to remove the tube after her problem was diagnosed by the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital in Sungai Petani.
Rusinah is mulling taking legal action against the Alor Star Hospital.
Dr Hasnah said when Rusinah could not be contacted, the discharge slip and appointment card was posted the same night to her house in Taman Seri Aman, Bedong.
She said the patient also did not make any attempt to contact the doctor who treated her or seek follow-up treatment at the hospital.
Rusinah’s husband Zamil Ibrahim, 40, denied receiving any letter or telephone call from the hospital after the 2004 surgery.
He said his wife had not changed her mobile phone number and they had not shifted house.
On the claim of unsettled hospital bills, he said: "That’s preposterous. We left calmly and we did not run away."
Zamil said his wife would have gone back to the hospital if she had been informed of the need to do so.

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