New parents unhappy with Tung Shin Hospital's policy

Several new and would-be parents are crying foul over Tung Shin Hospital's policy that sees a paediatrician on call, instead of a chosen paediatrician, attending to a newborn upon delivery.

It is a talking point among parents who claim the policy by the Kuala Lumpur-based private hospital would mean paying for the services of a doctor which is not of their choice. Parents alleged the paediatrician of choice is only available after the baby is discharged.

Some of these parents have welcomed their newborn while others are anxiously waiting for the arrival of their bundle of joy. They all insist they should have the right of choice as they are paying for the services. 

For the record, the hospital's administration had put up notices of its policy at its premises. 

Upon clarification, new mothers and/or new parents were informed they will be able to see their paediatrician of choice for their babies' following check-up.

New and soon-to-be parents related their experience:

1. Kueh Choon Leng, 35, IT manager
"My wife gave birth recently. I was informed that a doctor on call would attend to my baby instead of the one I chose. I objected but the nurse said it was the management's policy. I did not cave in and insisted having the doctor of my choice attending to my baby girl and they relented. I don't understand why such a policy exists in a private hospital. They are charging me for a service rendered by a doctor who I don't know, leaving my wife and I uncomfortable. I was informed about this policy by my wife's gynecologist during the later stage of her pregnancy and you don't expect us to change doctors at that point in time. I just hope they look into this."

2. Goh Chui Teng, accountant
"I'm due to deliver my baby on Oct 11. I've raised this matter and even contacted the hospital's customer service, asking for an explanation. They can't seem to give me a reason why the hospital is adopting such a policy. We are here because we believe in the doctors of our choice."

3. Katrina Mooi, 35, housewife 
"I admit there is a notice (concerning this policy) just outside my gynecologist's clinic. But I wasn't happy with the policy. I was not satisfied with the service provided by the paediatrician who attended to my baby. I had wanted to exclusively breast feed my baby but was told that my baby had low blood sugar (neonatal hypoglycemia) and was fed with powdered milk. No one consulted me. I have no issues with Tung Shin Hospital ... everything was great, except for this policy and incident."

4. Tee YC, 28, engineer
"My first child was born on Sept 1. The nurse, had on the same night, informed my wife and I that a paediatrician on call will attend to our baby. We weren't too happy about it but we didn't want this to come into the way of our special day. I was later informed my baby has low blood sugar and was only informed of his situation the following day. I admit we were informed about this policy by our gynecologist." 

The Health Ministry has been alerted to this matter. The ministry's Private Medical Practice Control Section wrote to Tung Shin Hospital (on August 22), asking for an explanation.

And this was Tung Shin Hospital's (August 29) reply to the ministry.

Former Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr NKS Tharmaseelan, said private hospitals were ethically obliged to respect the paying patients' and/or customers' wishes as to the choice of their doctors. He admitted there was no specific law governing this area.

One can also raise concerns over legal issues should something untoward happen to a baby if he or she was being attended by a doctor which was not of the parent's choice.

Hospitals adopt policies or regulations that best serve the interests of their patients and administration (and/or operations). 

Also, patients and would-be patients have the ultimate choice of seeking medical help from other private establishments if they are unhappy with such terms.

It is best that a reputable medical institution like Tung Shin Hospital engage with their customers/patients and come up with a win-win situation for all.


  1. Wow! Tung Shin is daring, asking patients to go away if unhappy?! Did Tung Shin make enough announcement to its patients anot? Else patients would just find out when they're due for delivery… lying on chopping board… >.<

  2. Tung Shin has adopted a safe solution as delivery's are not necessarily an elective event but can occur at any time. The best person in attendance is the on call doctor to ensure patient safety is kept to an optimal level. The parents have no grouses in complaining as they would be the first to blame the hospital should there be a delay in dealing with an emergency when a doctor who is not on call does not respond to the delivery in s timely manner. Both the MOH and MMA should have some common sense in understanding this concept as well. SAFETY FIRST!

  3. Then obstetrician shd adopt the same. I guess yr SAFETY FIRST concept is equally important in that context as we nvr know when is a pregnant lady gonna deliver. Guess u're quite closed to tungshin, pls tell the hospital to do so immediately & let the business tells u right or wrong.

    1. If the policy is so good and so safe then this policy should apply to all patients seeing all other doctors. Why only for babies?

    2. Dear Mr.Hue - We have sent you a private message for further communication. Please check your e-mail box. We look forward to meeting you. Thank you.

      Eric Yin( Customer Service Dept.) Tung Shin Hospital.

    3. Dear Eric, I'm so sorry that i have no idea ab the private msg u talked ab. Anyway, it's not important.

      Based on my experience dealing with the customer service of Tung Shin Hospital, it's just substandard, sorry to say. My enquiry email to you and the general enquiry email of Tung Shin Hospital found on the hospital homepage - was being ignored for almost two weeks until CKAPS, MOH wrote in to Tung Shin Hospital seeking explanation. Then you, Mr Eric, replied my enquiry email few hours after CKAPS's writing. What a coincidence.

      Hence I would like to suggest to Tun Shin Hospital to host a public hearing session, inviting CKAPS, existing patients, prospective patients, any other interested public, the legal professional, the press and the media for hearing the official explanation and rationale for such policy. The public hearing session is certainly one of the best alternatives to address the concerns and issues herein - instead of any closed meetings that you proposed.


  4. Safety First? bcoz borth of bb is uncertain? Then pls apply the same policy on O&G for pregnant women's delivery asap - nobody knows when are they going to give birth, just like birth of bb that is "emergency" as the upstairs claimed. Do it asap to O&G and let business tells Tung Shin that it's right or wrong.

    1. Dear Mr.Hue - We have sent you a private message for further communication. Please check your e-mail box. We look forward to meeting you. Thank you.

      Eric Yin( Customer Service Dept.) Tung Shin Hospital.

  5. Hopefully tung shin should be give the reasonable answer for patient to chose the paediatrician doctor. Should not as the letter patient unhappy the policy just leave from this hospital. Tungshin is the old hospital in kl why suddenly have such rule? Very disappointed about it. Human don't have the right?

    1. Dear Winnie - Greetings. It would be good that we meet to address your concern.Kindly contact our Customer Service Department as soon as possible. Thank you. Eric Yin.

  6. As I see it this is a non issue.
    If you have booked or made appointment with your gynaecologist or paediatrician, by all means you have every right access to them. But to some gynaecologist,who always refer their cases to a particular paediatrician whom they are very close, thus by passed all other paediatrician on call is very unfair and also put the baby in danger if any complications or complex cases derived.
    The person who brought up this issue should seek their conscience, because, maybe there are hidden agenda.The prominent picture display of the hospital is a deliberate means to run down the institution.
    So do you wait for your gynaecologist or paediatrician to arrive if you are face with a situation.?

    1. Prominent picture? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. You dont seem to back your argument with any points at all. Let's just say that this piece is about hearing from the new parents' feedback. If you wish to give up your patient's rights, that's rightfully your call.

    2. Chua, if your argument that "some gynaecologist,who always refer their cases to a particular paediatrician whom they are very close, thus by passed all other paediatrician on call is very unfair and also put the baby in danger if any complications or complex cases derived", pls advise the Hospital to report to Ministry of Health provided that it's a wrongdoing. Don't use that accusation to support the implementation of such policy - which the pediatrician-on-call doesn't stay at Tung Shin Hospital (i.e. the specialist is only serving passive on call). In that context, newborn not at stake in the event of an emergency? What a joke!

      Your 1st paragraph pointed out the key. Why Tung Shin never allowed patients to engage their paediatrician of choice prior to delivery? Patients have few months to do so (whole pregnancy). Instead of giving a choice to patients, Tung Shin chose to forcefully implement such policy.


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