Security officer suffers heart attack while on duty; forced to go private after lack of space in SGH



The following is the official response from  National Heart Centre of Singapore to our article

We are sorry to hear of Mr Thomas Lukose’s situation.

For any request on inter-hospital transfer, the doctors at the hospital the patient was warded will contact our specialist to communicate key information such the patient’s medical condition, type of bed and treatment needed. We will then work with the patient’s doctor to facilitate the transfer as soon as a bed is available.


We understand that the patient is recovering and due for discharge soon.

The family of 55-year-old Singaporean security officer, Thomas who suffered a sudden heart attack while on duty last week, has appealed for help to manage mounting financial challenges since they were forced to seek medical attention at a private hospital due to a lack of space at government hospital, Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Thomas was patrolling Gleneagles Hospital on 13 September when he felt breathless. He was escorted to the A&E department by his friends where he collapsed from a heart attack. He is fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), breathing with the help of a ventilator ever since.

Shocked and grief-stricken, Thomas’ family (comprising of an 85-year-old widowed mother and three brothers) have been trying to get him transferred to the less expensive SGH to no avail – there are no ICU slots available at SGH and it would be too risky to keep Thomas waiting for surgery any longer.

Forced to remain at private Gleneagles and authorise an urgent operation, Thomas’ family is struggling to manage the $40,000 medical bill they have now, which is expected to grow by tens of thousands of dollars to over $100,000 with the urgent operation.

Thomas’ brothers who work in security and driving are appealing for help to cover some of the medical costs of saving their beloved brother’s life:

“Our family’s world came down crashing on Wednesday 13th September when we heard about my brother Thomas collapsing while on duty due to a heart attack. At 9:20 pm on Wednesday, Thomas was on his usual patrol when he felt breathless. He approached his friends who took him to A&E and soon after he collapsed from heart attack. Thomas has been in ICU and on ventilator since Wednesday.
“Thomas is a 55 year old Singaporean who works as a security officer at Gleneagles Hospital. He is described as friendly, pleasant and simple by everyone who knows him. A few years back he was even awarded the most gracious staff award at the hospital for his friendly demeanor.
“Thomas is fighting for his life and needs your prayers to make through this difficult time. We have been told by the doctor that his chance of survival is decreasing with each passing day and he needs to undergo an operation as soon as possible. 
“We have been trying to get him transferred to SGH where the cost will be lower however the efforts have not been successful as there isn’t an ICU slot available and it will be risky to keep waiting any longer. Therefore we have no choice but to go ahead with operation at Gleneagles.
“The medial costs have already picked up to S$ 40K so far and the estimated costs of operation is S$ 100K. Our family doesn’t have the means to afford such medical expenses as I am a security guard and my other two brothers are in ordinary jobs like driving and security. 
“We are pleading for your help in supporting Thomas through this difficult times. Every dollar you donate counts. We are very grateful for your support and generosity. Please keep Thomas in your thoughts and prayers. He will be going though an operation tomorrow morning and if his situation worsens, the doctors might need to operate today itself since we have been told that the infection is growing.
“We need your support to pay the S$40K medical bill and subsequent operation costs which is estimated to be S$100K. Thank you so much for helping our brother Thomas fight for his life.”

Visit to give generously and save this Singaporean brother’s life.

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  1. …this would not have happened if there is Universal Health Care programme in Singapore. How much does it cost anyway.? I suspect that it would not make a dent in the government coffers otherwise the numbers would have been made public to prove that its is not viable….

  2. Failure of public health policy; the number of hospital beds is not keeping pace with ageing population and immigrant population growth, leading to unusually long waiting time for hospital beds and patients being turned away from public/restructured hospitals due to bed shortage.

  3. Even if he were an employee of Gleneagles (ie. Parkway Hospitals), their employee medical benefits is only able to cover subsidized government hospitals at most. Don’t pay first. Ask for lower fee. Reduce donors’ costs.

  4. Lydia Yeo says:

    Sure is lack of space have to stay in the private hospital or is it due to emergency? Is heart-attack so still can afford to waste the time to move him to another hospital when he’s already at Gleneagles?

  5. We are sorry to hear of Mr Thomas Lukose’s situation.

    For any request on inter-hospital transfer, the doctors at the hospital the patient was warded will contact our specialist to communicate key information such as the patient’s medical condition, type of bed and treatment needed. We will then work with the patient’s doctor to facilitate the transfer as soon as a bed is available.

    We understand that the patient is recovering and due for discharge soon.

  6. David Soh says:

    We will pray for his speedily recovery.
    His family members should table the sequence of events and email to the Minister of Health and his MP afterall they need to be aware of whats happening.
    We cannot allow our hospital just say no bed and stay in private. There should be accountability.

  7. David Lim says:

    So poor thing…Go see the MP u voted lor. So many are paid with MILLION DOLLARS SALARY plus $16K mp allowance per month. I am sure $100k is “sup sup sui” to them. Afterall u gave them the wealth LOL.

  8. Sim Phongy says:

    Sad, pray for him.

    Many Still don’t want to buy health insurance?

    Many still talk false statement to cause hardship to those need to secure urgently ?

    Don’t blames other please.

  9. Should bring this to the attention of the Health Ministry … how can they have no space for Singaporean … post on Diabetes PM’s Facebook & see what he said ! But since he was on duty .. his company should have company insurance!

  10. With due respects to the patient & his family :-

    FORCED TO REMAIN at private Gleneagles & authorize an urgent operation ‘ Estimated to be over SG$100K ???

    There are still TTSH & SGH, why did patient’s family chose a private hosp when they know they cannot afford it ???

    1. Rodney Ang
      I absolutely agree with yr comments/ views.

      Live within our means.
      I dream to own a sports car but I hv survived comfortably traveling by bus 11 & the ‘caterpillar’ Public transport.

      Life is predestined !
      Only Heaven knows!

      There’s no guarantee in living even after paying large sum of medical bills !

      WAKE UP, BE REAL !!!

    2. Bobby Yeoh says:

      Already feedback and almost sue them! Just my own opinion and i am not forcing my views on anyone. I never stated the names, it was u who wanna poke e hornet nest bro. Cheers

    3. Rodney Ang says:

      Bobby Yeoh
      Everyone has a right to his opinions.
      Are you saying that these public hospital are inadequate? If so, wouldn’t you feedback through the suitable channel, instead of complaining on a social media here?

    4. Bobby Yeoh says:

      Rodney Ang for once ktp is a big no no. Ttsh used to be good as a public hospital, but even there right nw is facing shortage of staff n manpower. N the ft, argg they cant communicate w e old folks

    5. Bobby Yeoh says:

      its a cost and concern issue. Not sure hw is ur experiences with Hospital. There are some hospital thats so bad, u walk in and get carried out. Its about a life. so no one will dare to risk it

    6. Rodney Ang says:

      Bobby Yeoh
      If it’s a cost issue, i believe the Doctors could advise on which will be the best way to take and the suitable hospital to go to, instead of blaming this and that.

    7. Bobby Yeoh says:

      Icu. Do u koe to transfer a patient in icu condition. U need a specialist on board n also pay for e special.ambulance. its all costing, n put urself in their shoe. U dare to shift

    8. According to the story, he works at Gleneagles and had a heart attack there.

      Under such circumstances, would there be a debate in hospital choice?

      And according to the story, SGH has no available ICU slot as well.

  11. Mike Lo says:

    How come his medical not covered by the hosp[ital and if SGH got no place then why not transfer him to another government hospital like NUH. He could tap into his Medishield Life which covers for expensive hospital stays. or doesn

  12. Malaysia hospital pay rm 1 can proceed for operation.
    Hospital bill if there any charges bear by gov or maybe 10 % of bill if teally need to pay,.can source it from kwsp deduction or socso scheme.
    Grateful to be malaysian.

  13. Philip Lim says:

    Sorry to heard about Thomas. Is he covered with medical insurance by the security company or some kind of health care scheme? What about his personal medical insurance scheme?

    1. Just stating the fact. I’m just curious. Why u can’t take the truth? It’s a freedom of choice u decide your own fate. Can’t blame anyone for stating facts.

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