Dr Dzulkefly: Patients should be assessed based on severity of illness, not attire

KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said improving healthcare services should be prioritised over a patient's attire.

He made the remark on platform X (formerly Twitter) when replying to a social media user's inquiry about the incident involving a retiree wearing shorts who was denied entry into a government hospital.

"We want patients to be assessed based on the severity of illnesses, not what they are wearing," he said.

Dress code concerns at hospitals reemerged when a senior citizen was refused entry to visit his brother-in-law at the Seberang Jaya Hospital on Monday simply because he was wearing shorts.

The 72-year-old man had come in a T-shirt, shorts that fell above his knees and sports shoes.

The Penang government later clarified that there was a miscommunication between security personnel and the complainant, assuring that entry to public healthcare facilities would not be denied based on attire.

Dr Dzulkefly also underscored the ministry's commitment to enhancing healthcare services in the Emergency Department, particularly in triaging.

"The death at the Sungai Petani Hospital after waiting five hours for triage is not acceptable, and should never happen again," he said.

He was referring to the case where a 51-year-old patient who died at Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital (HSAH) was not given appropriate treatment and was made to wait for hours until his condition worsened.

The ministry had launched an investigation into the case.

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