The topic of dress codes in government-owned premises has become an increasingly contentious topic in recent months, especially during instances of legitimate emergencies. This has only been further exacerbated after an incident involving a female driver being turned away from the Kajang police station made headline news not too long ago.
Malaysian woman allegedly denied treatment by medical assistant for wearing shorts
Unfortunately, local newspaper China Press has reported one other similar case where a woman was refused treatment by a medical assistant as she was wearing shorts.
Quoting a friend of the woman’s, referred to as Damien Chen, it was claimed that both he and his group been playing a round of badminton sometime around 11.00pm on Sunday (February 12th, 2023). One of the women who had been spectating their match, a girlfriend to one of Chen’s friends, suddenly keeled over after suffering from severe stomach pains.
Realising that her condition did not improve and that it could potentially be quite serious, they decided to rush her immediately to the nearby Kampar Hospital to receive medical attention. Upon their arrival, the group worked to help sort out her details at the registration counter.
But while they were doing so, a medical assistant who was present pointed out that the patient was wearing shorts, and that she would need to change into long pants before being granted admission into the emergency room.
“She said that it was improper for women to wear shorts and she can only receive treatment if she changes into long pants”, he said.
He asked the medical assistant politely as to why she has to wear long pants in order to receive treatment but was told that it’s a rule set by the hospital.
Probing further, the medical assistant then snapped at them and allegedly berated them for being ‘uneducated’ before driving them away. Left with little choice, they drove back to their dorm to retrieve a pair of long pants for the woman to change into so that she could receive the treatment she needed.
She was later diagnosed with menstrual cramps and high blood pressure, before being discharged and sent home at around 3.00am to recuperate after a sign off from the doctor.
As of now, the woman has sent a formal email to the hospital in hopes that the matter could be taken seriously and has mentioned that she will be pursuing this matter further.
Perak health exco member to launch probe
In relation to the incident, The Star newspaper has reported that Perak state health committee chairman A. Sivanesan will be launching a probe into the incident. Speaking with the newspaper, Sivanesan said that the medical officer had claimed that she had gone to retrieve some appropriate clothing for the her to wear.
“However, the patient told another hospital employee that she would seek treatment at a private clinic and left,”
“At about 1am on Monday, she returned to the emergency unit accompanied by a friend. She then registered and sought treatment from a doctor,” he clarified.
At this juncture, Sivanesan adds that he has yet to speak to the woman to confirm what she was wearing at the time of the incident, and is also unsure if the hospital has implemented any existing dress codes.
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Also read: M’sian woman gets denied entry to police station over her clothes when trying to lodge report after car accident