On the 5th, an SBS article about a 16-year-old child who died because he could not find a hospital to receive medical treatment during the Children's Day holiday went out, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare issued an explanation on the 18th. This is the first official position of the relevant authorities on this issue. In short, this case is not an emergency room hit-and-run, but the facts are wrong, and the Department of Health and Human Services' lax perception of the emergency room hit-and-run is revealed. Whether you're a party or not, there's a lot to point out.
For the sake of understanding, I would like you to read the previous interview file <5 years and 5 months of gifts> ([Interview file] "5 years and 5 months of gifts", a child who left on Children's Day..."How can this be in the middle of Seoul?"), our broadcast article on the 16th (▶ ▶a 5-year-old child who collapsed during the Children's Day holiday..."no hospital room", "only medical treatment") and the Ministry of Welfare's explanatory materials first and then take a look at this interview file. Links to news files and broadcast articles are provided, and explanatory materials from the Ministry of Welfare are included below.
Regarding the □ report, the Ministry of Health and Welfare confirmed the basic facts through the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Fire and Disaster Headquarters, and the Central Emergency Medical Center, and confirmed that the pediatric patient did not
die while traveling to and from the emergency room in an ambulance.
□ May 2023, 5 at 6:22 A 16-year-old child developed a high fever and called 5, and 119 paramedics were dispatched to the scene and inquired
about the availability of 119 emergency rooms (A, B, C, D, and E) by phone.
○ At 5:23, E arrived at the emergency room and conducted medical treatment and examinations. His symptoms improved and he returned
home early the next morning (May 6, 5:7 a.m.□ However, on May 1, at 42:5, his condition deteriorated while staying at home, and he reported it again to 7, and after the 20th ambulance team was dispatched to the scene, he was immediately transferred to A (arrived at 31:119) and performed CPR in the emergency room, but died.
□ Based on the facts identified so far, we will consider whether further investigation is necessary, and if any violations of laws and regulations are found, we plan to take necessary measures in cooperation with related agencies such as the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Fire Agency.
"I contacted you on the phone, so it's not an emergency room hit-and-run"
Enlarge the image
The Department of Health and Welfare said that 119 paramedics asked five emergency rooms "by phone" and that they did not die while moving around the emergency room. In other words, the child and the 5 paramedics did not physically visit the emergency room in person, but only checked on the phone, so it was not an emergency room hit-and-run.
The facts are wrong. I didn't just inquire over the phone. My mother and the 119th paramedics visited two emergency rooms in person. Before I left home, I was in an ambulance heading to the nearest university hospital, calling "Can you take my child?" (Of course, because it would waste time and travel, the paramedics won't blindly go to you without even asking over the phone if you're available.)
The hospital was reluctant to talk over the phone, but there was no other alternative, so I went to the hospital's emergency room. When I got the same answer in person, I called to find another emergency room on the spot and went to the last hospital that said "only for care and no admission." In other words, I visited two emergency rooms in person.
Admit the error and make some corrections..."It's not a hit-and-run, though"
Enlarge the image
The Department of Health and Welfare omitted these facts from its explanatory materials. When SBS refuted the claim, based on the 119 ambulance logbook, the records of the first hospital visit, and the testimony of the bereaved family, that "it was a real visit to the hospital and not a telephone inquiry," the Ministry of Welfare issued a correction four and a half hours after the first briefing was issued. All the content is the same, only the bottom part has been added in red letters.
* As a result of the inquiry to hospital A for wired acceptance, I received a reply that the waiting time would be long, but first I left for hospital A and received treatment in the emergency room. Later, when I inquired about the reason for the
omission of the final transfer
to E Hospital after inquiring about the reception at D and E hospitals, an official from the Ministry of Health and Welfare said, "I have been informed of such facts, but I don't think it is necessary to include such information." Another official said, "We have not been briefed on that." I wonder if the government's explanatory materials, which will be turned into articles and delivered to the people, were written without even properly communicating within the ministries. In fact, there was an article that dictated government data, but I wonder if the reporter wrote an article about this context even after checking it himself.
It's not just distortion that deliberately states or forcibly corrects a wrong fact. Missing the context that should be provided transparently to the public can also be distorted. Obviously, the Department of Health and Human Services said in its explanatory document that it had "identified the basic facts," but it left out the really important facts.
Another official from the Department of Health and Human Services said that "it was not an emergency room hit-and-run" because the emergency room hit-and-run took place on May 4 and the child died the next day, on the 5th. Will parents be able to understand this explanation?
That's not the essence
Enlarge the image
You can refute every single claim made by the Department of Human Services, but that misses the big picture, which really matters. If you take a step back and think about it, every single detail like that is important, but it can be secondary.
The essence of the problem is "distortion of the emergency rescue system caused by a shortage of pediatric emergency medical staff."
It is a fact that there are not enough doctors and beds to take care of the child, so five hospitals have rejected him or accommodated him conditionally. Whether (1) did you ask on the phone or in person, (2) did you die that day or the next day, (3) how many places did you go around, and (4) whether your child died in the car or in the hospital?
It doesn't matter if there is clear evidence that he was denied a hospital bed because of a lack of hospital beds, and he died while circulating on the phone, as the Department of Health and Human Services claims. The crux of the problem of emergency room hit-and-run is the lack of available beds, so they can't find a medical institution and don't get the care they need. If I had visited in person, called him, and been told, "You can come because I can accept your child," I wouldn't have gone to the fifth hospital.
There is no clarification of the big picture and no pity as a government department. There's no accountability to come up with an alternative, like bringing back doctors who have gone out of the emergency room. In fact, the explanation that he didn't die in the emergency room because he missed a relationship, and that he only asked on the wire, so it wasn't a hit-and-run, is devastating the more I think about it. The irresponsibility of trying to reduce the weight of responsibility should be felt not by the doctors who guard the emergency room, but by the government officials who gave such explanations. Moreover, there is even a misunderstanding that seems to diminish the essence of the problem by arguing about local facts.
"Of course, this doesn't mean my child will come back, but..."
Enlarge the image
One seemingly insignificant explanatory note is emblematic of the Department of Health and Human Services' lax level of awareness of emergency room hit-and-runs. In February, President Yoon Suk-yeol visited a university hospital and stressed that "we must ensure that there is no vacuum in the pediatric medical system." In March, after a teenager died in an emergency room hit and run in Daegu, the Ministry of Health and Welfare conducted an on-site investigation and said it would suspend subsidies to hospitals that did not accept children at the time.
'Shortage of emergency doctors'. It's a big problem, and there's never a king who can solve it in a short period of time. Therefore, it is not that we do not understand the position of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. But when something similar happens again, the Department of Health and Human Services seems to be drawing a line.
The parents said, "Of course, this interview with the media doesn't make your child come back, but I hope that something will change because of our child." When I heard the announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services, I had nothing else to say to my parents, who were "devastated." With that kind of complacent perception that leaks out of this explanatory material, I'm sorry, you won't be able to take a step forward.