[COVIDWatch]: Is the government asking for feedback on the new measures via these hotlines?

By October 13, 2021 October 14th, 2021 COVID-19, Health

We came across this message on a Telegram channel named ‘Healing The Divide Channel’ posted on 11 October:

As a quick background, the channel has over 650 subscribers and from its ‘About’ section, is the official channel for the Singapore-based Healing the Divide initiative. From its website, we read that “a group of citizens who are very concerned about the recent management of the COVID-19 vaccination programme” set up the initiative with the aim to “share critical research and evidences by scientists, doctors and medical professionals around the world who have startling information presenting a different side of the vaccine story not usually presented in the main stream media”.

The message posted on the channel claims that the Singapore government is “seeking nationwide ground feedback on the new measures announced over the weekend”. It then calls on individuals to “feel free to give [their] feedback and call their hotlines”, before listing out the numbers of the MOH Quality Service/Feedback Hotline, the National Care Hotline, and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) Hotline.

For context, new measures were announced by MOH last Saturday (9 October), including how unvaccinated individuals will not be allowed to dine in, go to shopping malls, hawker centres, and coffee shops, or visit attractions from 13 October. The new measures are set in place in a bid “to protect unvaccinated individuals in the community and to reduce the strain on the healthcare system”.

In response to the message, we also see an individual urging others to reconsider sending in their feedback through these hotlines as they might be “reserved for Covid patients who need urgent assistance”.

The same individual later added that the National Care Hotline is for people “experiencing mental health crisis and suicidal thoughts”, while the MSF hotline is for people “in need of financial assistance or at risk of abuse”.

When we did a check, it is indeed true that the numbers provided for the MSF and the National Care hotlines appear to be for purposes that definitely don’t include feedback for new measures implemented by MOH. In fact, the National Care hotline has been listed on MOH’s website and is described to be for individuals who “need emotional or psychological support”.

It is also important to note that there doesn’t seem to be any reports or official announcement regarding a call for “nationwide ground feedback” from the government as mentioned in the message.

Therefore, the claim that the government has called for “nationwide ground feedback” and that feedback should be directed to these hotlines is likely false.

Perhaps, it appears that the more appropriate avenue for individuals to provide feedback is at this link on MOH’s website, where it has been clearly indicated that individuals are able to submit “questions or feedback on MOH’s healthcare policies, regulations and programmes”.

We have reached out to MOH for clarification on whether or not there was indeed a call for “nationwide ground feedback” and will update the article when they reply.

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