Parents sue Mindef over compensation issues


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Nisa

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Ex-NSF's parents insist he was on duty

Mindef stopped subsiding comatose ex-MSF's treatment and classified case as non-service related injury. -ST

Wed, Jan 14, 2009
The Straits Times

By Selina Lum

THE parents of a former full-time national serviceman (NSF) who has been comatose for more than three years after an incident in camp insisted in court yesterday that he was injured while on duty.


Mr Tan Kian Lee, 50, and Madam Hor Hong Kiow, 47, have taken the Ministry of Defence to court seeking disability compensation and medical benefits for their son Jeremy, who is now 26.

The crux of the case, which opened in the High Court yesterday, was whether Mr Jeremy Tan was injured while he was on duty. Mindef, which has classified his case as a non-service-related injury, stopped subsidising his treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) from March 2007.


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Parents sue Mindef over compensation issues

BY K.C. Vijayan

THE parents of a former full-time national serviceman, who has remained in a coma for over three years after an incident in camp, is taking the Ministry of Defence to court over compensation issues.

They claim that then-corporal Jeremy Tan, now 26, is entitled to coverage for medical costs and a permanent disability package since the injuries occurred while he was in camp and in service.

Mr Tan, then a storeman at the Seletar East Camp, was found unconscious on a grass patch outside the block where his third-level bunk was located at about 6pm on Aug 3, 2005.

He was subsequently taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital with severe head injuries, although his parents were also told when they arrived at the hospital that he had a severe viral infection.

But the issue which the courts are expected to address when the hearing starts today before Justice Tay Yong Kwang is whether the injury was caused in the course of his service. Mr Tan would not be eligible for compensation if the injuries were not service-related.

On the day he was found, he had completed his storeman duty for the day and was last seen in his bunk at about 6pm.

His lawyers Lau Teik Soon and Rajvant Kaur are seeking payment on either of these two grounds - compensation; or if that is not forthcoming, then damages due to negligence.

The lawyers claim Mr Tan, a Temasek Polytechnic diploma-holder who had planned to pursue university studies after his NS, and his family had suffered tremendous loss as the young man had wanted to support his parents in their old age.

His father, 50, a former labourer, is unemployed as he has heart problems, while his mother, 47, is a bank teller. He has a 19-year-old sister who is a poly student.

Mindef subsidised his medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital from the time of the accident up to Feb 28, 2007, when he was regarded as having been discharged from hospital.

Mr Tan has, since September 2007, been in a step-down facility for rehabilitative treatment at the Tan Tock Seng Rehabilitation Centre in Moulmein Road.

It is understood that his parents had approached Mindef for compensation prior to seeking legal help.

They have sought an explanation for the cause of their son's injuries. Although he was found unconscious, it is understood there were no visible injuries at the time aside from foaming at the month.

In previous media reports in May 2006, Mindef had said he was found in a comatose state in a spot just below his room, which was on the third storey.

Mindef said he was not engaged in any operational or training activity at that time, and was last seen in his room at about 5.45pm.

It added that independent medical evidence showed his injuries could have come from a fall and its probe found no evidence of foul play.

Mr Tan was given $5,000 from the SAF Benevolent Fund. In addition, Mindef had offered on compassionate grounds $500 a month for five years to assist him.

He did not have insurance cover.

Mr Tan completed his NS in October 2005 while he was in a comatose state.

His parents visit him daily at the Moulmein Road facility, where he remains bedridden. Since Mindef's payments ceased in February 2007, his parents have chalked up outstanding hospital bills totalling $133,000 for his upkeep.



This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 12, 2009.

Source :- http://news.asiaone.com/print/News/the+Straits+Times/Story/A1Story20090114-114507.html
 

Nisa

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Aug 13, 2004
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#3
I tot all NS men have to buy insurances?
 

xtemujin

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Apr 1, 2005
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#4
As a Singaporean who have gone through NS, I would like MINDEF to do the right thing.

Mission statement point number 7.

SAF Core Values

1. Loyalty to Country
2. Leadership
3. Discipline
4. Professionalism
5. Fighting Spirit
6. Ethics
7. Care for Soldiers
 

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#6
grey area... what is term by off duty ?? during NS got timing 1 meh ?? i sleeping soundly in the middle of the night kena turn out by my ocifur, run up and down, change here change there, carry bed frame, metal cupboard up and down to parade square... kena injured so its off duty oso ??

my time if touch wood die oni pay $2K.. thats how much we are worth in NS... but they dunno how hard pain is to the parents...

i wonder what happen if a white horse is injured... oh... there is no such thing as white horse as mention by someone years ago... but i clearly remember seeing a white horse thingie...if u ever know someone in S1 branch...
 

sORe-EyEz

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Jun 28, 2005
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#7
I tot all NS men have to buy insurances?
i tot so too, but i dunno wad it covers. i oso dun 1 2 find out by needing such coverage.

luckily dun need to claim. heng ah... :sweat:
 

Simon_84

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Mar 18, 2004
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#8
i'm paying my army insurance even though i have ord, next month going back to reservice, so better safe than sorry.
my life may not worth much but it's worth a hell lot to my parents who bought me up painfully...no way i leave them penniless.

of course like some of my friends who are overseas and pes B, don't even need to reservice till 40, life's good for them...

care for soldiers only happens in camps with iso standards, aka safety standards, other camps i not sure already...
 

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Dec 19, 2007
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#9
i wonder what happen if a white horse is injured... oh... there is no such thing as white horse as mention by someone years ago... but i clearly remember seeing a white horse thingie...if u ever know someone in S1 branch...
ask any medical personnel who would have access to PACEs, and they can tell you that there's a WH category for personnel as well.

it's a pretty well known fact.
 

scanner

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Jan 24, 2002
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#10
But they claim no such things as WH leh....:confused:
So who lie? :dunno: Well only those who serve NS will know well. ;)

Anyway AFAIN, even with no such label, as long as your father/mother is MP or minster, I believe the CO or your superior dare to touch you.
 

Yappy

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May 30, 2004
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#11
grey area... what is term by off duty ?? during NS got timing 1 meh ?? i sleeping soundly in the middle of the night kena turn out by my ocifur, run up and down, change here change there, carry bed frame, metal cupboard up and down to parade square... kena injured so its off duty oso ??

my time if touch wood die oni pay $2K.. thats how much we are worth in NS... but they dunno how hard pain is to the parents...

i wonder what happen if a white horse is injured... oh... there is no such thing as white horse as mention by someone years ago... but i clearly remember seeing a white horse thingie...if u ever know someone in S1 branch...
Yes. I tot NS man is covered by group insurance. Also, when you are serving NS, you are holding SAF 11A and not the normal IC. I think the Army has the duty to look after him until he recover or maybe forever e.g. pay for his medical unless it can be proven that he took his own life or reason within his control.
 

AMediaLuz

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Dec 3, 2008
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#12
Can't imagine Mindef held that position! Dunno which smart guy sitting in which office decided on that.
 

Nisa

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#14
Pardon me for thinking aloud.....

but shouldn't the army had got the NS personnels to get some forms of insurances?
I knew that most (at least the one whom I spoke to) had done so.

If they did buy this insurance, shouldn't the insurance be paying for all these, instead of Mindef?
 

AMediaLuz

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Dec 3, 2008
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#15
If it were a regular company, most likely will pay. Since companies are concerned about incurring lawsuits, loss of goodwill resulting in good people not joining them and even boycott. So normally they respect the lives of their employees and have to be seen as more humane generally.

Then again, that's only applicable to regular companies.
 

leejay

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Sep 18, 2006
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#16
Looking at the family's financial situation, they do need a lot of help.

To be fair, from my point of view, Mindef subsidised his medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital from the time of the accident up to Feb 28, 2007. It shows that Mindef has done quite a lot for this guy already. We cannot say they have not done things. Furthermore, the guy has already ORDed. The cause of his comatose is also very vague. Clearly it is not during training. So is it because of the fall or because of viral infection? Usually Mindef is not slipshod when dealing with accidents. When my army mate broke his leg during training and had to undergo an operation, a bigshot from Mindef even paid him a visit at the hospital twice. We hope for the best between the two parties.
 

David Kwok

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#18
Yes, as long as you are in the custardy of Mindef, then it is consider in service. If this is not the case, then why call it full time ? Might as well part time ? If part time, then why keep us in the bunk over night ? Why this cannot do, that cannot, always in the name of the fellow is the property of Army and therefore will be well taken care of. Even if you are outside of the camp and you did something wrong, you are liable to court marshal. So what is with the OFF DUTY here ? If I'm OFF DUTY, means whatever I do during my OFF DUTY is NONE OF THE BIZ with Army, which we all know it is clearly NOT THE CASE. :confused:

When those big shots come down and visit your broken leg, it's because likely it is some HOOHA, not because they CARE lah. Come on, wake up .... :bsmilie:
 

Yappy

Senior Member
May 30, 2004
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#19
To be fair to all parties we need to know more.

We need to hear from all.
 

jasonlcs

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Apr 11, 2008
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#20
Probably MINDEF could not spare any more money for the soldier,
the current fiscal ten billion dollars defence budget is already running very low. :dunno:

Maybe MINDEF can request for more money in the upcoming Budget in the parliament... :think:
 

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