The medical bills of the 41-year-old woman who was badly injured in the Apr. 14 Beach Road slashing incident have amounted to at least S$48,000.
The woman's boss, Edmund Tan, owner of the Chong Qing (Origin) Steamboat Restaurant, shared this update in a Facebook livestream on Thursday (Apr. 21).
In the video, Tan also expressed his worry about the mounting hospital bills and said he plans on starting a crowdfunding campaign to pay off the bills to help the victim, who is named Han Hongli.
Hospital bills at least S$48,000
According to The Straits Times (ST), citing Ministry of Manpower rules, Tan is legally obligated to pay the hospital bills as Han was working under him as a work permit holder.
As her employer, Tan is required to pay the costs of her medical treatment, whether or not the injuries were work-related.
They are also required to buy and maintain medical insurance coverage of at least $$15,000 a year for each worker, which Tan did so, buying basic coverage of S$15,000 a year for Han.
Tan was told by the hospital that as of Apr. 21, he faces a bill of about S$48,000. This figure is expected to increase as Han continues her treatment and stay at the hospital.
Tan said he may turn to crowdfunding for help, but said he is unsure how exactly to proceed as this is a new situation for him, and shared his fears of the potential public backlash if he chooses to do so.
"I'm also a bit concerned because, to ask for funding, then people might misunderstand, say 'how come you as a boss are not paying for her', or whatever," he said, adding in Chinese that his "abilities are limited."
His interview with ST revealed that he is also "embarrassed" that he does not have enough to pay.
In the Straits Times interview, Tan said crowdfunding charity Ray of Hope has been in touch with him to possibly help with the medical bills.
A spokesman for the charity platform said it will need to speak to Han to get her permission to start a fund-raising campaign.
Tan said during the livestream (at around the 24min mark) that as of the time of the recording, he had not received a "single cent" in donations.
Victim is a "responsible" and "happy-go-lucky" person
Giving an update on Han's recovery, Tan said she had already undergone a few operations and has had many stitches done.
She had also had major operations done on both hands, he said, adding that she is currently recovering but still remains "quite badly injured".
"She's really been traumatised," said Tan. He said that doctors are now trying to treat her eye, as one of her eyes had been badly hurt in the incident.
He talked more about Han, and shared that she had started working for him when he first started the business five years ago.
Tan described her as being a "very responsible" staff member, and that she was always a "happy-go-lucky person".
He shared that her colleagues and even his own family members got along well with her, and would refer to her as "da jie" or "big sister" in Chinese.
"At this moment, I'm just really glad that she's still alive," said Tan.
He also took the opportunity to dispel some rumours that may have been circulating, saying that Han is not a "flirtatious" person.
Han's assailant was her husband, who was charged with attempted murder on Apr. 16.
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Top photos via Edmund's Seafood Live/FB and videos circulating online