Friend of Singaporean man killed in JB accident clarifies statements
The case of the Singaporean man who was involved in a hit-and-run in Johor Baru has taken a new twist. Joshua De Rozario, a friend who was a the scene, has since clarified his statements, and suggested that a communication breakdown might be to blame instead.
Earlier, he spoke to Stomp, relating details of the accident that would lead to the death of his friend, Justinian Tan. Perhaps the most important accusation was that the hospital, Sultanah Aminah Hospital, asked for payment totaling up to RM 4,050 (S$1,350) and refused to treat their friends until paid.
Ernest Lee, another in the group, had also told Channel NewsAsia that the ambulance took about 20 to 30 minutes to arrive on scene, despite the hospital being only about 9 minutes drive away.
Over the weekend, Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, Dr Noor Nisham Abdullah, has come out to deny the allegations, and set the record straight.
From the desk of the Director-General of Health Malaysia
In a statement released last Friday (1 Sept), the Director-General of Health Malaysia, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, revealed that there was “no delay or demand for payment before treatment” by Sultanah Aminah Hospital. According to the Director-General, Justinian was immediately admitted to the Red Zone upon arrival at the hospital, and Advanced Trauma Life Support was performed.
Necessary scans, including x-rays and CT scans, treatment, and referral were administered “in a very timely and professional manner”, owing to the case’s status as an emergency. All of these procedures were taken without asking for a deposit.
Further, he also refuted claims that there was a delay in ambulance dispatch. According to ambulance service records, the emergency call was made at 2:57am, and the ambulance left Sultanah Aminah Hospital at 2:59am. It arrived at the accident scene at 3:10am, and headed back to the hospital at 3:15am. This meant the ambulance had a dispatch time of 2 minutes, and it took a total of 13 minutes to reach the wounded.
Friend clarifies previous statements
Speaking to The Straits Times, Joshua De Rozario said that he might have remembered things wrongly. In the chaos and anxiety that followed the accident, he might have estimated the time wrongly. He also told FreeMalaysiaToday that he was unsure of what time the ambulance was called, and what time it arrived. Instead, he was tending to his friend.
It felt like a long time… like more than 30 minutes.
Joshua also suggested that there might have been a communication breakdown at the hospital, as the group of friends did not speak Malay, while hospital staff barely spoke English. He thought that they were supposed to pay first, but were not carrying such large amounts of cash. Hospital staff then pointed them to the ATM, where they understood that they had to draw money for payment. A receipt was issued, and he brought the receipt to the Red Zone. After that, he was told to leave.
Joshua was also grateful at the help that his friend received, and expressed his gratitude to the paramedics, doctors, and nurses of Sultanah Aminah Hospital. He also reiterated to the New Straits Times of his wish for the whole issue to blow over.
It’s not about wanting to get revenge, because that is not going to bring Justinian back. We want to move on.
With the Malaysian Health Ministry reportedly wanting to file a complaint over the allegations, it looks like this incident isn’t going anywhere any time soon.