‘3 TEAMS PROBED DEN­TAL CLINIC’

They checked staff, doc­u­ments and equip­ment, min­istry of­fi­cial tells court

New Straits Times - - News - KHAIRAH N. KARIM news@nst.com.my

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.

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