‘Unwritten rule’ to dress suitably at govt premises, says Perak exco member

IPOH: It is an unwritten understanding to dress appropriately when visiting governmental premises, says a Perak executive council member.

State Health Committee chairman A. Sivanesan said while he was not saying anyone was at fault over the dress code kerfuffle at Kampar Hospital on Sunday (Feb 12), people should dress appropriately when seeking treatment at government clinics or hospitals.

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“If you go to a government department, there should be decorum.

“Whether the hospital had (put up) a notice or not, as Malaysians, we must know what to wear,” he told a press conference after opening a free health screening programme here on Tuesday (Feb 14).

“If you go to a temple, there’s also no signboard, but we know we cannot wear short skirts there. It’s an unwritten understanding.

“I am not saying what the hospital did is correct and I (still) need to investigate (the incident),” he said, adding that all hospitals, including private ones, have the discretion to set a dress code.

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“If the hospital staff don’t have the power to ask the patient to go back and change, but did so, action can be taken against them,” he added.

A woman in her early 20s was reportedly criticised for dressing indecently while seeking treatment at the hospital’s emergency unit.

Sivanesan said he also hoped the woman would come forward to tell her side of the story.

“If the patient was really unwell or severely injured, I apologise as the chairman of the state health committee.

“We are not sure what her ailment was that required her to go to the hospital, as there are also 24-hour clinics there, so it could have been something serious,” he said.

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Sivanesan said such incidents do not normally happen at hospitals.

“Our doctors are professional.

“There may be one or two (who take matters like dressing too far), but we cannot conclude that all are the same,” he said, adding that medical staff worked under great pressure.