Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Malaysian Doctors Want Freedom From Neckties.

Malaysian doctors want to be free of encumbrances around their necks. Not their stethoscopes, but neckties.

The Malaysian Medical Association has asked the Health Ministry to scrap a regulation requiring doctors to wear ties while on hospital ward rounds, saying the gentleman's fashion accessory could pose a health risk to patients, a news report said Tuesday.

"Neckties are not the most frequently washed apparel and ... (studies) show that neckties carry contaminants that could cause infections" to the patients, Malaysian Medical Association president Dr. Teoh Siang Chin was quoted as saying by The Star daily.

"And when doctors are doing their clinical rounds, they dangle all over the place. And how many people wash their ties? They require dry cleaning and that can cost about 15 ringgit per tie," he was quoted as saying.

However, the Health Ministry has apparently rejected the plea.

The Star quoted Health Ministry director general Dr. Ismail Merican as saying that the policy would not change unless there was a "body of evidence" that proved neckties spread infection.

"It's a long established policy ... Doctors must maintain their dignity and dress properly," he said.

Teoh acknowledged that doctors in neckties inspired confidence and displayed a professional aura. But he also cited a 2004 study that looked at 42 neckties worn by doctors at the New York Hospital Medical Center in Queens. It found that nearly half of the ties contained bacteria that could cause pneumonia, blood infections and other dangerous conditions, he said.

Neither Teoh nor Ismail were immediately available for comment because of the Labor Day holiday. (International Herald Tribune)

***** Keeping in mind the unkind weather we in Malaysia are subjected to these days it is only fair that doctors be given some leeway regarding the use of neckties. Moreover since it has been suspected that there are chances of infection being spread by a contaminated tie, why take the risk? Is it absolutely necessary to patiently wait for
a "body of evidence" affecting many people and causing misery to some before allowing doctors to decide on its usage? Granted it adds to the over all dignified image of the health professional, but at what cost?
Image - Source

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

as usual mate, wait till there are not enough place at the mortuary for the dead ones! then there is enough evidence. afterall, whats a few that perish because of infection thru ties ( if it does happen) coz it is just a fraction of a decimal of a percent of patients in the hospitals. its all rite, so say also the Health Minister ( remember the same argument on deaths in National Service)

1:02 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous EqualiZer said...

ismail merican thrives in his air-con office at putrajaya, flies 1st class on his overseas meetings, & ironically forgets the humble beginnings where most doctors start their careers.therefore, he is out-of-touch with the grassroots.

the tie is the stupidest attire a doctor can put on in this blistering heat, unless the wards/clinics all have air-con. now there is clear-cut evidence of dangerous bugs nesting in the ties of doctors, he turns a blind eye & a deaf ear.

& what does the health minister know? he's only a GP who probably failed the post-grad exams, & now he's in cahoots with ismail, to make life difficult for the private doctors with that draconian Act. granted that are a few black sheep who taint the good name of the profession, but do you send in the artillery to kill off a few dissidents?

the health ministry is definitely run by ego-maniacs, out to show off to the public that they are protecting the rights of the rakyat, while the patients still form long queues to see doctors, & waiting for months for life-saving operations.

1:24 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another case of where looking pretty is more important than saving lives.

12:21 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't call the Ministry of "Hell" for nothing. To be a human being is tough nowadays. If you fall sick, real sick, you need money but worse, if you die. People can't die without money, the funeral costs a bundle. It's like between the "devil" and the deep blue sea.And there is nothing safe to eat, even vegetables! And it's taxing to know the Hell Minister is more interested in doctors wearing ties than regulating pesticides used by farmers. Sad state of affairs.

4:35 PM GMT+8  

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