Thursday January 10, 2013
I have to sue to create awareness on medical misdiagnosis, says MD
KUCHING: Sarawakian entrepreneur Datuk Seri Clement Hii’s primary aim in his lawsuit against the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and one of its senior consultants is to raise awareness about medical misdiagnosis.
And if he wins the case, the managing director of SEG International Bhd has pledged to donate any damages awarded to him to medical research to improve diagnostics.
“Basically, I have to sue to create awareness that many patients are suffering because of wrong diagnosis and unnecessary surgeries,” he said in a press statement to explain the suit after it was reported in the media.
Hii revealed that he had undergone a major surgery for suspected cancer in the pancreas at the centre in Singapore in August, 2010, but later found that he was not suffering from the ailment.
Subsequently, he developed complications and needed two more surgeries to save his life.
“God was kind to me. I sur- vived and recovered, thanks to the very skilled surgeons in our own backyard, at Sime Darby Medical Centre and Selayang General Hospital. At first, I was prepared to move on and put the episode behind me.
“Then I started to hear of other cases of misdiagnosis, patients losing their lives or made to suffer not because they had ailments but because of wrong diagnosis.”
Hii then discussed his concerns about this growing trend in both Singapore and Malaysia with legal and medical specialists and he learnt that anyone who has been wronged should file a suit.
“There are many others who have suffered the same fate but they or their families do not have the means or financial resources to bring their cases against those responsible. I cannot let them down.
“I made my stand very clear to my lawyers at Straits Law in Singapore. I am suing because I want to create awareness on the need for hospitals and doctors to reduce or eliminate cases of unnecessary surgeries,” said Hii.
He added that he told his leading lawyer Palaniappan Sundararaj that he would want any damages awarded, if he should win the case, to be donated to research in the area of diagnostic enhancements.
He said the defendants, NCCS and Prof London Lucien Ooi, have denied his claims and filed their defence but he had instructed his lawyers to proceed with the suit.
“I feel I have good justifications and grounds to initiate this lawsuit. I am confident of a fair and just decision by the Singapore courts.
“And if along the way, my case helps to minimise or reduce the number of unnecessary surgeries —and therefore the sufferings and pain of patients and their loved ones and carers — then my reliving my ordeal in court would be worth it,” said Hii.