YSL Bedok Clinic and Surgery has offered an apology and compensation of the medical bills of a 14-month-old boy who was allegedly being given a cough syrup more than four times the dosage that a boy his age should have received.
The boy's mother, Ms Belinda Lum, said that the boy was coughing, therefore, she took him to the clinic and met Dr. Siew Man Gah and were given a bottle of Fedac syrup with an instruction attached on it that said to take 10 ml of the medicine three times a day. The boy then fell into a deep sleep which lasted a total of 44 hours after taking the medicine.
Suspected that her son was overdosed by the medicine, she then rushed him to Gleneagles Hospital on Thursday morning where he was given the antidote.
She said that the doctor at Gleneagle told her that if she had given the complete dosage as per prescribed for 3 times a day and 10 ml each time, her son would have passed away.
Fedac is a medicine that contains an antihistamine and decongestant and usually prescribed for symptomatic relief of colds and coughs, or allergies. According to the Health Sciences Authority, the medicine in tablet or syrup form should not be given to children under the age of two.
The medical group issued an apology on Wednesday and said, "Qualitas has out of goodwill offered to reimburse the child's parents for all medical bills incurred as a result of this unfortunate incident," adding that it had assembled a team to ensure that its safety procedures are reviewed and enforced.
Ms Lum said the medical bill was $2,000.
Qualitas, which has nine clinics in Singapore, also invited the child for further examination at their paediatrics unit. However, Ms Lum said she would not be sending her son back to them, saying, "They already did this once, how can I trust them now?"
Speaking to The Straits Times earlier, Ms Lum said that she had met the doctor of the clinic. "It was the clinic assistant who dispensed the medication wrongly. I've asked for compensation and a public apology," she said.
Ms Lum added that she has also made an appointment to lodge a complaint with the Singapore Medical Council, however, all they ever reply is that they will take nine months to investigate the case.
"I’m not sure how much damage they will have done in the 9 months if they are still operating," she said.
A Ministry of Health (MOH) spokesman said the ministry was aware of the incident and its spokesperson said, "MOH takes a serious view of such matters and is investigating the clinic in question and its licensee."
Mr Lum has written her story on fund-raising platform GIVE.asia to encourage people to share her story on Facebook to raise awareness of the incident and will donate $1 for each share.
"If you’re so kind to help to share this post out, and again, I want to stress that donations to any of the 3 charities goes directly to them, will not pass through me, and every share from this page to your Facebook wall, I will donate $1 to each of the charities," she wrote.
Ms Lum told ST that her son only has a third of his strength back and has lost weight since the incident took place, saying, "The damage they have done to my son cannot be reversed by any compensation."