MOH Blames ‘Misunderstanding’ After Woman Barred From Entering Kuantan Hospital Over Shorts Length

The Pahang state health department says a female visitor in knee-length shorts was denied entry to Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan because of “a little misunderstanding” between her and the security guard about dress codes at government facilities.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) today attributed the denial of entry of a middle-aged woman to Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan, Pahang, over her attire to a “misunderstanding” between her and a security guard.

Pahang state health director Dr Nor Azimi Yunus said the incident involving the security guard on duty and the hospital visitor dressed in knee-length shorts last Tuesday evening, which was highlighted in a video on Twitter, occurred because of “a little misunderstanding” about dress codes at government facilities.

“As a result, the visitor could not obtain permission to visit a patient. No other similar incidents have been detected,” Nor Azimi said in a statement.

“We admit that occasionally, conflicts occur as a result of differing interpretations when enforcing dress codes at government facilities. However, to balance this problem, understanding and effective communication should always be prioritised.

“The hospital management and the Pahang state health department take this incident seriously. We will continue to work in improving the effectiveness of communications by appointed security guards to uphold visitors and patients who enter and receive treatment at any Ministry of Health premise,” she added.

Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni yesterday tweeted, in response to the video: “This shouldn’t happen and it shouldn’t happen again at MOH hospitals and clinics.”

The incident at Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital was not the first reported case of a person denied entry into a public health care facility over their dressing. 

Last month, a woman dressed in shorts was prohibited from entering Kampar Hospital in Perak for emergency treatment. Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said in response that “in principle, every patient must be prioritised for treatment regardless of their ethnicity, race, or dress code.”

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