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Thomson Fertility Centre error

By Terence

When Thomson Fertility Centre’s error in giving a couple the wrong sperm during an IVF was discovered, the Health Ministry took a system approach, said Mr Khaw, in his first public comments on the incident on Saturday.

He spoke on the matter at the sidelines of a community event, where he also stressed on the need to move away from witch-hunting, reported The Sunday Times.


“In the United States, experts have estimated that errors in hospitals are hurting patients unnecessarily at the rate equivalent to one plane crash a day, or some such dramatic figure,” said Mr Khaw, adding that experts have concluded the healthcare sector should emulate the aviation sector’s approach to safety.

The latter, noted Mr Khaw, has moved away from fault-finding, an approach the aviation sector took 10 to 20 years ago.

“(Now) each time an adverse event occurs, they will conduct an objective and thorough investigation, not to witch hunt, but to identify the causes, especially if there are systemic flaws,” he said.

The result: Significant progress in raising safety and minimising mistakes in aviation, as people were open in their comments and there was fast and accurate assessments of the situation.

In the case of Thomson Fertility Centre, investigations started immediately, the centre’s IVF activities were suspended and arrangements were made for patients in the middle of their IVF programme, outlined Mr Khaw.

By Alicia Wong

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