JOHOR BARU, Sept 7 — Johor DAP’s Dr Boo Cheng Hau urged the Health Ministry not to refuse hospital admission for Category Three Covid-19 patients showing mild symptoms.
The Opposition politician said doing so may cause their condition to worsen and lead to late treatment and death.
“This includes rejecting Category Three cases with pneumonia that will usually lead to Category Four and Five in a short period of time.
“I hope the Health Ministry will enforce its Covid-19 guidelines in order to ensure Category Three patients, including those who are at risk of having ‘happy hypoxia’, will receive early treatment before they slipped into Category Four or Five and also death,” he said in a Facebook post last night.
According to medical experts, “happy hypoxia” is a condition where patients have very low oxygen in their blood but do not show any symptoms. These individuals are referred to as “happy hypoxic” and can later also experience organ failure without any specific symptoms.
Dr Boo claimed a direct link between some hospitals that have refused admission for Covid-19 patients who do not exhibit life threatening symptoms, and the rise in brought-in-dead cases.
However, he declined to name the hospitals when contacted by Malay Mail.
“I have already informed the authorities concerned and will keep the patient’s identity and the government hospital concerned confidential,” he said when asked which government hospitals had such incidents.
Dr Boo, who has been active in calling for action on issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, said there are cases of less fortunate patients who have no other alternative besides treatment at government hospitals.
“Category Three Covid-19 patients should not be rejected by government hospitals and the Health Ministry guidelines are clear about this,” he stressed.
The surge in Covid-19 cases nationwide has been overwhelming government hospitals, especially in the major cities.
When government hospitals and intensive care units are overwhelmed, those mild-to-moderate cases have been advised to self-monitor at home.
However, some deteriorate rapidly and are not brought to hospitals for treatment in time, resulting in dead on arrival cases.
Dr Boo, who has been a general medical practitioner for more than 30 years, highlighted a case where a Covid-19 patient was rejected admission at a government hospital after initially showing no serious symptoms.
However, the patient developed pneumonia and was treated by a private hospital specialist.
Dr Boo said the patient suffered from a mild fever for a week followed by shortness of breath and pneumonia.
He added that the oxygen level in the patient’s blood was normal at 95 per cent, but dropped to 92 per cent after doing light exercise.
“The patient was referred to the hospital but was denied admission despite being diagnosed with Covid-19 under Category Three which includes having pneumonia.
“After that, the patient had to be treated by a specialist doctor in a private hospital with steroids and antibiotics,” said Dr Boo, adding that the patient is now recovering after receiving outpatient treatment.