The Johor crown prince’s remarks came after a victim’s family sued Sultanah Aminah Hospital and the government over the 2016 fire.
Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (second from left, front) visits Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru Hospital on December 2, 2019. Picture from fb.com/hrhcrownprinceofjohor.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim expressed disappointment that the Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru Hospital (HSA) still hasn’t been repaired, three years after a deadly fire.
Tunku Ismail, popularly known as TMJ, said he visited the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital yesterday and was “shocked” to see that the wards still showed remnants of the 2016 fire, which claimed the lives of six patients, and looked as if “there has been no effort to repair or rehabilitate them”.
“NOTHING has changed since 3 years ago,” said Tunku Ismail in a statement yesterday.
“Is the welfare of Johoreans not important that important basic necessities such as this has literally been left abandoned? Why are the federal government’s incentives for Johoreans and state government reduced to the extent that these wards have not been repaired even after three years? Matters regarding the people’s interest must always be the priority of those in power and I hope this is not neglected.”
The Johor crown prince pointed out that Johor contributed 9.6 per cent, or RM138.9 billion, of the national economy last year.
“The economy is currently suffering and during such times, the welfare of the people, especially access to basic amenities such as healthcare must be given importance,” he said.
“Johoreans deserve to get good facilities for the betterment of their lives.”
Tunku Ismail’s remarks came after CodeBlue reported that the parents of a victim of the HSA fire — 24-year-old Neeramaladevi Chandran — have filed a civil lawsuit against the public hospital’s director, the Johor state health director, and the government, claiming negligence of patient safety.
Plaintiffs Chanthiran Palanisamy and Rajaswari Ramalingam accused the defendants of failure to repair facilities, electrical wiring, and electrical equipment in the hospital; failure to follow standard operating procedure in the maintenance of the building; and failure to create an efficient evacuation plan during disasters; among others.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad recently announced that MOH was planning to publish by the end of the year the report of an independent investigation led by former judge Mohd Hishamudin Yunus into the fire that happened on October 25, 2016.
MPs also support publishing the inquiry into the 2016 deadly fire at Sultanah Aminah Hospital.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Lawmakers and the independent committee which investigated a fatal fire at Sultanah Aminah Hospital have called for a parliamentary debate on the inquiry that remains a state secret, three years after the tragedy.
“Certainly, it ought to be debated,” said the head of the investigation committee, Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, when contacted by CodeBlue.
“The wish to have it made public is in the recommendations. The recommendations are collectively agreed by all members, without any reservation.”
Mohd Hishamudin, who is a former Court of Appeal judge, also welcomed a story in the media on the fire that broke out on October 25, 2016, in the intensive care unit of the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital in Johor Baru, Johor, killing six patients.
Hishamudin suggested that the debate be conducted in the human rights parliamentary select committee.
“Yes, this is the closest, as so far there is no select committee on hospitals or public health.”
The rights and gender equality Parliament special select committee is chaired by Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip (PKR) and comprises lawmakers Klang MP Charles Santiago (DAP), Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil (PKR), Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto (DAP), Kalabakan MP Ma’mun Sulaiman (Warisan), Kuala Kangsar MP Mastura Mohd Yazid (Umno), and Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS).
Two Members of Parliament, who did not want to be named, also expressed their support for the report on the Sultanah Aminah Hospital fire to be debated in Parliament.
“The report must be made public and must be accessible to everyone who wants to know the truth of what happened that day, as this would ensure transparency and integrity of the investigative committee as well as the government,” said a Pakatan Harapan (PH) MP, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.
Another government MP said on condition of anonymity: “Putting the report out there is very important to ensure this accident doesn’t repeat itself in another premise, and will allow hospitals to enhance their safety and disaster management procedures.”
Last month, G25, a group of retired high-ranking civil servants, urged the government to publish the findings of the inquiry into the fire at the public hospital, suggesting that the report be tabled for debate in a parliamentary select committee.
The seven-member investigation committee led by Hishamudin, who is currently a member of the Judicial Appointments Commission, handed their 230-page report on the Sultanah Aminah Hospital fire to MOH in June 2018.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said last year that he has no jurisdiction over making the report public as the investigation was conducted by a special committee under the Cabinet, and therefore, any findings should be presented to the Cabinet first for approval.
But in October this year, he revealed that he will announce the details of the incident in a press conference in early November. Even so, there was no update on releasing the report.
“The Cabinet has decided to be transparent on the findings and we are in the midst of declassifying the document so that it can be made public.
“What we want is transparency, including the weaknesses of the hospital or others (agencies), which will be revealed next week,” Dzulkefly was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times last October 31.
The 2016 fire at Sultanah Aminah Hospital killed six patients.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — The Cabinet has decided to disclose the investigation of a deadly fire at Sultanah Aminah Hospital three years ago, Dzulkefly Ahmad said today.
The health minister said the Ministry of Health (MOH) was now working on publishing the findings of the independent inquiry, which was led by former Court of Appeal judge Mohd Hishamudin Yunus, by next month.
“I’ve tasked it to be released by year end,” Dzulkefly told the press after launching a “Save The Green Lung” campaign by Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Lung Cancer Network Malaysia.
In a recent interview with CodeBlue, Mohd Hishamudin reiterated the investigating committee’s calls for its inquiry into the 2016 fire at the MOH hospital, which killed six patients, to be made public.
The Judicial Appointments Commission member also said the independent committee’s report should be debated in a parliamentary select committee, possibly the human rights committee since Parliament does not have a committee overseeing health issues.
Former Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Milton Lum has noted that fire safety audits carried out by MOH, and the Fire and Rescue and Public Works Departments, after the Sultanah Aminah Hospital fire in 46 public hospitals over 50 years old revealed that a large number of hospitals were fire hazards.