People seeking medical treatment should not be turned away for their attire: M'sian Health Minister


Keyla Supharta | March 21, 2023, 10:44 PM

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Patients seeking medical attention at government health facilities should not be turned away because of their attire, said Malaysian health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

She was responding to a supplementary question asked during a parliamentary session on Thursday (Mar. 16), reported The Star.

Denied entry because of attire

There have been a number of incidents where women were denied entry from Malaysian government establishments because of their attire.

These women were told their clothing was too short, failing to meet the establishment's dress code.

Malaysia's inspector general of police, Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, stressed the importance of the public upholding courtesy and morality guidelines when dealing with government offices.

However, he said exceptions could be made in an emergency "if it is a life or death situation".

Still, there emerged subsequent incidents where women were turned away from hospital establishments.

One woman was turned away from the emergency room at a hospital in Kampar because she was wearing shorts.

"Every medical practitioner and personnel must uphold ethics."

"I have taken note of the issue and the viral incidents in recent weeks. I want to state here that in principle, every patient must be treated irrespective of race or ethnicity including the dress code ethics," Zaliha said.

She reiterated that doctors and medical personnel are bounded by oath to assist people seeking medical attention.

"Every medical practitioner and personnel must uphold ethics," she said. "They had taken the Hippocratic oath, especially doctors, to provide the best medical care possible."

Zaliha noted that the incident at the Kampar Hospital likely occurred due to miscommunication.

She said the ministry would take immediate action against complaints to ensure such incidents do not happen again.

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Top image via Dr Zaliha Mustafa/Facebook.