Every patient must be treated regardless of attire, says Health Minister


KUALA LUMPUR: Those seeking medical attention at government health facilities should not be turned away because of their attire, says Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic).

"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," the Health Minister said.

She said this when replying to a supplementary question raised by Datuk Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (PH-Balik Pulau) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 16).

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Muhammad wanted to know the ministry's stand on the dress code following a recent incident where a woman was reprimanded for her attire when seeking emergency treatment at a government hospital.

On Feb 12, a woman was reportedly given a dressing down by a medical worker for being "indecently dressed" while seeking treatment at the Kampar Hospital.

There had been several other recent incidents where members of the public were told off when seeking assistance at government offices.

Dr Zaliha reminded doctors and medical personnel that they were bound by oath to help those seeking medical treatment.

"Every medical practitioner and personnel must uphold ethics.

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"They had taken the Hippocratic oath, especially doctors, to provide the best medical care possible," she added.

On the incident at the Kampar Hospital, Dr Zaliha said that it was most likely due to miscommunication.

She said that the ministry would usually take immediate action with regard to complaints to ensure it does not happen again.

To a question by Dr Halimah Ali (PN-Kapar), Dr Zaliha advised her to lodge a report with the ministry for action to be taken.

Dr Halimah claimed that there were complaints from her constituents that they were denied treatment at a health clinic in Pandamaran, Klang recently.

She said they were turned away because they were considered from a different electoral area.

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