TL;DR – An good example of poor journalism, let’s not learn from Wake Up Singapore.
Alternative news site Wake up Singapore (WUS) has made a public apology on 25 March (Friday) for publishing a woman’s claims that she bled and lost a baby during a four-hour wait at the accident and emergency department at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).
The apology came after KKH said that it has filed a police report over the claims as the hospital was not able to identify the patient despite its “best efforts”.
In the apology, WUS said that they are “at a loss for words” and they are “sorry”.
Background of what happened
In case you haven’t been following the news, on 23 March, WUS put up a post of a claim made by a woman who alleged that she had lost her baby after waiting at the accident and emergency department for about four hours.
In the post, which had been widely shared on social media before it was taken down, the woman said she was 20-weeks pregnant and test positive for COVID-19.
After being denied treatment at two other private hospitals, the woman arrived at KKH at around 2pm but was told to wait at the drop-off area. She added that at 5pm, she started to bleed profusely but was still not attended to.
At 6pm, a doctor checked and told her that she had suffered a miscarriage.
No records of the said incident at KKH
Following the post which went viral, KKH said there were no records of the said pregnant woman, and the hospital said that it was not able to identify the patient despite its “best efforts”.
The hospital also added that there were discrepancies between the story and the bill information shared online.
KKH later revealed that it has made a police report over the claims.
Wake Up Singapore says “Sorry”
Shortly after the news that a police report has been filed broke, WUS came out to clarify that the claims made by the woman were untrue.
The woman said she had sent “things in the heat of the moment” because she was agonising over the loss of a previous miscarriage which was handled by the hospital.
In the apology post, the alternative news site said that they “were lied to at every turn” and it sought forgiveness from KKH, its staff, and readers.
Netizens lambast WUS over the boo-boo
The latest revelation from WUS had netizens up in arms.
Many criticised the news site for their irresponsible journalism, pointing out that WUS could have verified the allegations with KKH first before publishing the post.
Others also condemned the site for wasting the hospital’s time and resources when the healthcare sector is already under tremendous stress.