Thursday, March 21, 2013

cc: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

21st March 2013

Dear Mr Lui Tuck Yew,

You would recall that I wrote to you on the 9th of March highlighting the tragic accident at Buangkok Green in which a 28-year-old- lady was killed by a lorry outside IMH. I also wrote to the press making a useful suggestion to help prevent further tragedies  (see the details on my blog).

The welfare of psychiatric patients and their families; as well as the IMH staff needs to well taken care of.  Until today, more than 12 days later, I have not heard from anyone on this matter. Any reason for this, ministers?

You would also recollect that on the 5th March 2013, I wrote to you & the press highlighting the excellent service provided by an SBS driver who could well have saved the life of an elderly Chinese man.

I was pleased that you took pains to personally reply to me, Mr Lui.  Besides your  prompt reply, I’ve received 2 other letters via email from the SBS .

I would like to know why  is  it that when contributing citizens make the effort to propose some suggestions as I did in my press latter dated 9th March 2013 to save lives, I don’t get a proper reply. It seems that when praises are made, replies come fast and furious , but when things go dreadfully wrong - as in the case of the untimely  death  outside IMH, nobody bothers to act on it, or at least that’s the impression I get.

Do we only want to hear the good stuff?   Under the PS21 Programme, replies from Govt. agencies need to come in between 3-5 days. If it takes time to study the situation, surely an interim reply could have been given.  It’s gracious to do so. So let’s create conditions where citizens are prepared to take time  off from their busy schedules to work with the Govt. of the day to improve the lives of all our citizens. And being the sole caregiver to my wife who has schizophrenia , advanced arthritis & 4 other chronic illnesses, I  assure all of you, it’s care 24/7.  Yet, I contribute as an active citizen.

Together , let us strive to make Singapore the BEST HOME to live in. An inclusive society where EVERY citizen matters. That must surely include those who are undergoing psychiatric  care.  

I also would  like to know what IMH & the MOH is doing to improve the  situation at the IMH grounds.

Thank you and I look forward  to an earnest reply from all concerned.


Raymond Anthony Fernando

Footnote: (1) Excerpt from my book- "Understanding and managing mental illnesess in an effective way"
"Schizophrenia is a very complex mental illness and everyone, including doctors and family members need to understand what the sufferer goes through during relapses. For instance, when Doris’ mental stability becomes unstable following a relapse, she does not even know if she needs to clear her bowels or pass urine as the brain cells are not firing properly. When this happens, the tears in my eyes won’t stop flowing because it’s so pitiful to see my wife in that state. So I urge those who are not “walking the journey” to show compassion and understanding.  It is not until we go through these hardships that we truly realize what even an ounce of suffering is like." Copyrightraymondfernando2013

(2)  Porche Poh, Executive Director of Silver Ribbon Singapore who won the MediaCorp's Woman of the Year Award 2013 a few days ago wrote to me:
" Raymond I pray that you will be in good health always because Doris(my wife) & the consumers (meaning psychiatric patients) need you."


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