Lucky Plaza car crash: Why casualties not sent to nearby hospital

·Editorial Team
An ambulance is parked outside the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. A young woman who was gang-raped and assaulted on a moving bus in the Indian capital was flown Thursday to the Singapore hospital for treatment of severe internal injuries that could last several weeks, officials said. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. (FILE PHOTO: AP/Wong Maye-E)

SINGAPORE — The chief executive officer of Mount Elizabeth Hospital has responded to public sentiments on why the casualties in the Lucky Plaza car crash accident were not sent to its premises, which is located just across the accident scene.

The accident on Sunday (29 December) saw two dead and four injured when a car slammed into them from Nutmeg Road, at the back of Lucky Plaza.

Police said that all the casualties were taken by five Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulances to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s accident and emergency (A&E) department. According to Google Maps, the hospital is about a 10-minute drive from the shopping centre.

Not part of SCDF list of medical providers

Following comments on social media questioning why the casualties were not sent to Mount Elizabeth Hospital, its CEO Dr Noel Yeo said in a post on its Facebook page that its hospital and ambulance services are not part of the SCDF’s list of medical providers.

“This means that the hospital will not be activated by the SCDF even if such an incident is within close proximity,” he said in the post on Monday.

“While the hospital is capable of treating emergencies, it is not set up like the restructured hospitals for severe traumatic conditions, which include multiple trauma and extensive burns.”

Dr Yeo insisted that, had the hospital been activated, its 24-hour A&E team would have reacted immediately to help stabilise the injured while waiting for the SCDF to arrive.

“Our 24-hour A&E department is open to all patients, regardless of who they are. We will even despatch our staff to attend to emergencies via our ambulance service,” he said in the Facebook post.

A 64-year-old male driver, who was later identified as a driver with ride-hailing firm Grab, was arrested for dangerous driving causing death in the accident. Investigations are ongoing.

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