PERAK, MALAYSIA —  Recently, Kajang police came under criticism for not allowing a woman to enter the police HQ to lodge a police report just because she was wearing Bermuda shorts.

However, there was another similar incident occurred in Kampar, Perak, where a young woman was denied entry to the Kampar Hospital because she was wearing a pair of shorts.

Facebook user Damien Chan alleged in a post that his female friend was denied entry to the hospital for treatment due to her attire.

He explained that while playing badminton with his friend, the woman, who was his friend’s girlfriend, suddenly experienced acute stomach pains, leading them to rush her to the hospital last Sunday (12 February) at about 11 pm.

Damien said her boyfriend had to help her to the hospital due to excessive pain.

However, upon arrival, a staff member informed them that the woman could not enter due to wearing shorts, and they were forced to leave to retrieve long pants.

“(They said) the pants are too short to be allowed (entering hospital), and told us to go back and change? Even (the attire) not sopan (polite), we all know that people’s lives are at stake. Are rules more important sometimes?”

Damien questioned in his post what if something had happened to the woman during the 15 or 20-minute ride back home just to change her pants.

Eventually, the woman was allowed into the emergency department after changing her attire.

When questioned by Damien’s friend why her girlfriend was not allowed to receive treatment while wearing short pants, the staff claimed that “It’s the hospital’s rules.”

Dissatisfied with the reply, Damien’s friend further pressed on the matter. They were scolded by the staff for “having no manners” and chased out of the hospital instead.

Damien’s friend later filed a formal complaint via email to the hospital’s management.

“It’s not that we can’t afford the medical bills. But this is the only hospital in Kampar, and (the staff) threatened us with the question of whether we still want to see a doctor here or not?”

Damien further warned others to avoid seeking treatment at this hospital and go to Ipoh General Hospital instead.

Other netizens also commented on Damien’s post, urging the minister to explain and take action on the matter.

Clara Chin wrote: “Can the health minister clarify on this matter? What era are we in now? Is it hard to respect each other? It’s definitely not appropriate to go to the emergency room in only underwear… Even so, a patient might be rushed to the hospital urgently. How can a patient be refused treatment for this reason?”

Netizen Candy wrote: “It is really incomparable with Ipoh General Hospital(GH), Poor service attitude! ! !”

Malaysia’s Health DG said to investigate the matter

A Twitter user tagged Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to alert him about the recent incident.

@DGHisham please respond to this formally to the public. If this is true, the nurse should be punished severely especially when it’s an emergency in a hospital!

Her tweet was promptly replied to by Dr Noor Hisham, who stated that this should not happen in health facilities and promised that Health Ministry would investigate this matter.

“This shouldn’t happen in health facilities. We will investigate and if it is true will take necessary action. Thank you for highlighting this issue, ” Dr Noor Hisham wrote.

Perak health committee chairman A. Sivanesan earlier confirmed that the woman in her early 20s visited the Kampar Hospital’s emergency unit on Sunday 11 pm to seek treatment and was criticised by a staff member.

He told The Star that the medical officer at the triage counter determined that the woman was stable, but the staff member proceeded to obtain clothing for her to wear.

“However, the patient told another hospital employee that she would seek treatment at a private clinic and left,” A. Sivanesan said.

“At about 1 am on Monday, she returned to the emergency unit accompanied by a friend. She then registered and sought treatment from a doctor,” he added.

Sivanesan stated that he was unsure if the hospital had any standing instructions or dress code for patients and that he had not met the woman to confirm what she was wearing at the time.

“I am not exactly happy with the response from the hospital,” A. Sivanesan said, adding that he may visit the hospital soon to find out what happened.

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