Reported by Shengwen Lee for CNEWS, Taipei
The American Express Centurion Card, which claims to be available even on airplanes, does not include Taiwan in the global emergency medical services. Wang Ching-chieh, a Media Tek engineer, died of myocardial infarction at Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei last year. At that time, he possessed an American Express Centurion card with an annual payment of NT180,000. The staff of Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei did not call an ambulance when he was feeling unwell, leading to the consequence of his death forty minutes later. The family members indicated that since the incident, the hotel and American Express corporations have been indifferent, which greatly disappointed the Wang family.
Wang Chih-ya, Wang Ching-chieh’s sister and a consultant of the Taipei City Government, claimed that his younger brother is a Centurion cardholder. On July 29th, 2020, Wang Ching-chieh went to Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei, which has a partnership with American Express company, to consume and use the swimming pool. From the video, it can be seen that after more than 20 minutes being in the water, Wang went ashore to rest in a lounge chair due to physical discomfort. However, there were no high chairs and clearly marked lifeguards at the swimming pool. At 19:36, Wang called the counter for help, clearly indicating that he “needs medical help since he has problem breathing and has chest tightness”.
Faced with Wang’s desire for help, the hotel staff misjudged him as “low blood sugar” and provided a series of non-medical services such as eating and changing postures. Even made the victim, who was suffering from myocardial infarction, take 34 steps, depleting his oxygen and physical strength. During the period , the victim had called the counter the second time at 20:03, conveying clearly that he still couldn’t breathe the air, needed medical treatment due to the chest tightness and wished to be accompanied by someone. However, the hotel still wouldn’t call the ambulance for fear of influencing the business image. Thus, they kept asking Wang to take a taxi to the hospital solely, causing the death of the victim.
Wang Chih-ya grievingly stated that it is already a miracle that a person with myocardial infarction can last for 5 minutes or 10. At the moment of life and death, he entrusted his life to Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei, believing that a hotel claiming six stars would call an ambulance for him. He must have never thought that such a prestigious hotel would make uncountable mistakes, delaying the prime time when he had a chance to save his life again and adain. It was unbearable to see Wang was dead eventually after nearly an hour of torture. Wang Chih-ya said that according to the monitor screen, the staff didn’t notify an ambulance after Wang had fainted and nearly passed away. Instead, they called for the superior’s instructions which delayed 2 minutes once again. The fact that the counter lied to the ambulanceman that Wang had just fainted and had been in discomfort for only five minutes is intolerable. In other words, although the hotel called for the ambulance help, they still lied to avoid their responsibility, leading to the misjudgement of the emergency medical technician. It can be seen that the hotel managers’ intention to conceal facts, staff’s laziness and blunder had taken away the life of a 48-year-old human being.
Wang Chih-ya cried in the video, seeing the helpless and hopeless figure of her younger brother who had been left to suffer alone by the hotel staff, her grief was inconsolable. “Just thinking of my brother, who had struggled every minute and every second in the last minutes of his life, the tear is uncontrollable.”
Wang Chih-ya said that the sudden death of her younger brother had broken their hearts. What made it worse is the apathetic attitude of the hotel. So far, there has been no apology, even conjuring at the pool where her brother died was impossible. Since the day of the sudden death of Wang, the whole family can no longer sleep soundly. The mother’s weight dropped rapidly and can only sleep for 2 to 3 hours a day. The father’s feet are swollen and must see the cardiologist constantly. The documents filed by the family members stacked higher and higher, however they still couldn’t find justice for their beloved one. The melancholy mood was unbearable.
Wang Chih-ya, who has had the best relationship with her younger brother since she was a child, said that for more than a year, she had no intention of anything else. All she wanted was to call for justice for her brother and the public awareness of the responsibility of public places. She pointed out that the emergency management of the six-star Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei is actually more outdated than the public swimming pool. According to the inspection of the Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei has not applied for nor passed the star rating of the Ministry of Transportation. Therefore, it is undoubtedly that it is a veritable fake six-star hotel. The representative even clearly expressed their statement that they have no obligation to save people or apologize to the grieving family.
It is considered that the American Express Centurion Card corporation, who receives NT$180,000 per year from members, didn’t fulfill the responsibility of supervising the quality control of the partners, and did not blame Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei on behalf of the customer. Even worse, they claimed that emergency medical services do not include Taiwan, in order to justify their mistake. Compared to the beautiful image emphasized in the advertisement, the service provided by the two corporations are terrifying. The indifferent behavior after the tragedy happened is also ridiculous and will be discarded by all the consumers.
It is questioned that if today’s victim was the chairman of Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei, Cai Bohan(two of whose family members had passed away due to myocardial infarction), will the staff of the hotel wait for 44 minutes and then ask for instructions to call an ambulance? “If your Chairman Cai encounters this, please ask him to wait for 44 minutes first, and then ask your staff to call Wang Chih-ya, and see if she should call an ambulance for him. I’m here to beg everyone to think about this with empathy. Is it truly acceptable that Le Méridien Hotel in Taipei did such a notorious thing?”
Photo credit: CNEWS Press Kits
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