Response to Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Press Secretary

I would like to respond to the MOH reply to our earlier press statement today.

We thank the MOH for their reply to our statement calling for a COI on the Hep C infection cluster at SGH.

The last sentence of the MOH statement refers to “whatever allegations it (the Workers’ Party) might have.” However the MOH statement itself observes that our statement did not impute any improper motives to SGH or MOH officers. Hence we find the reference to “allegations” that we may or may not have to be confusing, distracting and unhelpful. We have been consistently clear that we are not making allegations in this regard.

We are calling for strengthening of the review process by reconstituting the current review committee as a COI. The MOH statement does not address the points we made about the relative merits of a COI for investigating this matter in respect of:

  • the composition of the committee, which we have suggested should include more retired healthcare professionals and a person qualified to be a Judge, given that the committee’s remit has been broadened to include assessing MOH’s workflow
  • the value of the committee’s deliberations being made public, in terms of strengthening public confidence in our system
  • the necessity of tasking the committee to explicitly address the issue of the timeline in public notification and containment measures.

The burden of responsibility resides with the government in this matter. We reiterate our call for a COI based on the arguments made in our earlier statement today which have not been substantively addressed by today’s MOH statement.

Our motivation in making this call is to strengthen the healthcare system on which Singaporeans depend and to ensure that the review is not only successful but is widely seen by the Singaporean public to be successful.


25 October 2015

Ministry of Health Statement quoted here.