‘3 TEAMS PROBED DENTAL CLINIC’
They checked staff, documents and equipment, ministry official tells court
AN investigation team was formed to investigate a dental clinic in connection with the death of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s son-in-law while he was receiving treatment there last year, the Sessions Court heard yesterday.
Health Minister’s Office principal assistant director Dr Mohamed Ahsan Mohamed Ismail said the team was formed after the ministry heard of a patient’s death while receiving treatment at Imperial Dental Specialist Centre in Bangsar, here, on June 1 last year.
Dr Ahsan, who was the principal assistant director of the Putrajaya Private Medical Practice Control Section (CKAPS) during the incident, testified as the third prosecution witness on the first day of the clinic’s trial, which was charged with nine counts relating to Datuk Syed Alman Zain Syed Alwi’s death.
“I was on duty on June 2 last year, and was informed by CKAPS Complaint Unit head Dr Siti Zulfina Abd Samah about a case involving the death of a patient at a dental specialist centre.
“About 9.30am, Dr Siti Zulfina was directed to form an investigation team to look into the case at the Imperial Dental Specialist Centre and I was appointed team’s head.
“We were divided into three groups; A, B and C, with different tasks. I led the first group,” Dr Ahsan said.
He said the investigation began at 1.35pm and ended at 4.30pm.
During examination-in-chief to questions by deputy public prosecutor Jaizah Jaafar Sidek, Dr Ahsan said group A was tasked to interview the staff involved in the patient’s treatment and to check the documents involved.
He said group B was tasked to check the equipment and emergency medications used for the patient’s treatment, while group C had to check the status of the premises and examine its floorplan.
Dr Ahsan said 13 personnel were involved, five from CKAPS, seven from the Medical Practice Control Unit and a dental surgery specialist from Sungai Buloh Hospital.
He said he interviewed four people at the clinic — managing director Datuk Dr How Kim Chuan; Dr Arlena Philip Lee, the doctor who carried out the procedure; gynaecologist Dr Ting Teck Chin; and a staff who was involved in the process.
“We asked for the staff list from How and the patient’s medical record and X-ray films from Dr Arlena, as well as the procedure and anaesthesia consent forms.”
Dr Ahsan said he received the documents in an attachment via email from Dr Arlena between 2pm and 3pm the next day.
On Aug 12 last year, the clinic was charged with nine counts, including purportedly allowing Dr Ting, who is not a qualified anaesthesiologist, to administer anaesthesia on Syed Alman.
Syed Alman, 44, died during a dental surgery at the dental clinic on June 1 last year.
Dr Ting, 36, was charged separately with causing the death of Syed Alman while undergoing dental treatment.