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Singapore: Anger Over Mistreatment of Elderly Patient

It’s called Nightingale Nursing Home but it seems some of the nurses there are far removed from the real Florence Nightingale.

Singaporeans are shocked and upset after a spy video exposing the mistreatment of a 75-year-old lady in that nursing home was uploaded to YouTube last week. The video shows a nurse slapping the elderly patient who was lying in bed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7kkJ2Glxko&feature=related

Many Singaporeans want the abusive nurses punished. Javert's World writes:

The public should know what are the punishments given to the staff too, maybe just a verbal warning? The head of the Nursing home should also be punished and the victim and her family should be compensated.

This could happen to anyone and I am disappointed it actually happened in Singapore.

Reuben Chan notes that only few Singaporeans want to take care of their elderly relatives:

What do you expect when we outsource old folks care to these transient labour who are doing jobs that Singaporeans don't want to. Nursing is a unglam vocation and not a career that Singaporeans want to go into. To be a cool rich doctor, yes. To be a nurse wiping patients’ arses, no. Nurses have to deal with cranky old folks that their own kids don't want to deal with. If they know that the patients’ own children might not treat these old folks with dignity, why should they. Not everybody is a Florence Nightingale or a Mother Theresa.

Loh and behold suspects there are also cases of abuse in other nursing homes:

The retards behind Nightingale Nursing Home should be identified, thrown into jail the same way that poor old lady was dumped into that bed, and the key disposed of permanently.

How many more cases of abuses must come to light before something really serious is being done?

In nursing homes such as these, with mainly un-educated inmates with dementia, I can only imagine the horrors within.

I am sure there are other cases of abuse the public knows nothing about.

It was discovered that the son of the elderly patient in the video reported the incident to health authorities more than three months ago. Some writers think the government ‘silenced’ the issue during the campaign period last month.

In a recent development, the government has suspended the nursing home from accepting new patients. mrbrown.com finds it odd that suspension was the only punishment given to the nursing home:

No one was persecuted, no heads rolled for this, and the home was merely suspended from taking new patients.

Outrageous.

Some comments from Twitter and Facebook:

@Evan_Lby: Nightingale Nursing Home trying to breed new Singapore wrestlers? slamming old folks on to the bed, slapping the mouth…

Chan CL: The MOH should shut down this nursing home. The name of the home is a shame in itself

The issue has sparked a discussion on the quality of healthcare in Singapore. Therese Leung and Sumytra Menon discusses some measures to improve the delivery of health services to Singapore’s aging population:

Over the long term, Singapore must redesign the incentives for local workers to commit to the long-term care sector in order to lessen our dependence on foreign workers. We suggest a combination of structural changes to these jobs in terms of wages, career development, and supervision.

Research shows that increasing wage levels can improve the attraction and retention of local workers in the long-term care sector. Wage increases should not be given as a one-time bonus but rather integrated into a step-wise pay scale which rewards years of experience.

According to the authors, one out of twelve Singaporean residents is at least 65 years old today but by year 2030, one out of every five will be a senior citizen.

1 comment

  • ade

    unacceptable! What do these staff think they are doing? Does engaging such foreign talents help in our society? These people are just looking for a job here and do they really care for the old and elderly? Please sack all these people and employ people who really contribute. They treat them just like nobody. They should be punished by law and sent back to their country

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