The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) expressed deep regret for the lapses that led to the hepatitis C outbreak in its renal wards, stressing that it is working to close the gaps identified in the independent review committee's report.
SGH chief executive Ang Chong Lye apologised to the patients and families affected by the outbreak, and said "SGH has reflected on our response and approach, and acknowledges that we could have done better and escalated the matter earlier to SingHealth and MOH".
SingHealth, the hospital's parent organisation, has set up a task force to conduct audits on infection control practices across its various institutions, and has also appointed a separate committee to implement the recommendations of the independent review committee, which was convened by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to investigate the outbreak.
The recommendations include refreshing standard operating procedures for infection control, as well as improving surveillance and outbreak response systems.
Between January and September this year, 25 patients who were admitted to Ward 64A or Ward 67 in SGH were diagnosed with hepatitis C infections. Of the 25, eight have since died. The virus was proven to be either a direct or contributing factor in seven of the deaths.
Source: “SGH accepts IRC's findings, apologises and takes steps to regain trust” (SGH, 8 Dec 2015); “Hepatitis C outbreak: SGH apologises for lapses, says it will work to close gaps” (The Straits Times, 9 Dec 2015)