Facebook user Channey Lim shared on Thursday (11 June) how a group of enforcement officers from the National Environment Agency (NEA) was being rude to clinic staff and used their authority to acquire confidential patient information.
Ms Lim was one of the patients at the clinic who witnessed an argument between the NEA officers and the clinic staff.
According to her, some enforcement officers entered the clinic and went on to probe patients with a “loud voice” if the patients have essential purposes to be there.
When the clinic staff pointed out that patient information is private and confidential, one of the officers claimed that NEA officers have the rights to obtain confidential patient information.
The clinic staff requested the officers to wait outside but they were “throwing around” their authority, demanding “some sort of statements” from the clinic staff.
“The clinic staffs were clueless as to what they were saying, and was told to Google it. Which then an EO [enforcement officer] called them out for ‘working blindly’. Followed by snark comments on how they are incompetent for not knowing ‘basics’,” Ms Lim wrote.
She described the whole situation as “unsightly”, adding that a “string of sarcastic remarks was thrown back and forth” between them.
Eventually, the clinic staff told the NEA officers that she would need to check with the management for the officers’ demand, but one of the officers replied, “I am from the NEA, I will tell you what to do! You don’t need to check with your boss.”
“Even when asked to wait for their boss to come out, this guy just would not let it go,” Ms Lim added.
She noted that one of the patients probably felt that the clinic staff were “being attacked” by the officers and decided to intervene. One of the officers, however, said that the patient is in no position to intervene, adding that he would “talk to him later”.
On that note, Ms Lim questioned whether it is normal for NEA enforcement officers to act in such a way to members of the public.
“Are NEA enforcing officers allowed to crack the whip during such situations? Is it a norm for them to speak so rudely and condescendingly in every clinic/practice they visit? Creating hoohas and loud commotions?” she asked.
Ms Lim remarked, “I personally feel, authority is not to be abused. Even as mere humans, no one should be spoken to like that.”
Update: Ms Lim shared that the EOs were from MOH.