Materia Medica Malaysiana

January 29, 2006

Sick shots in hospitals

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:50 am

Star: Visitors will no longer be able to use mobile phones in hospital wards following cases of the “sick” preying on the sick.
The ban comes in the wake of voyeurs snapping shots of patients in various state of undress or answering the call of nature in bed.
Patients who undergo medical procedures that require removal of clothing have also been photographed.
The voyeurs usually try to cover their actions by pretending to speak on their phones but Datuk Dr Ismail Merican, director-general of Health, is wise to their tricks.
“I am directing all hospital directors to immediately ban the use of mobile phones in hospital wards,” he said.
Dr Ismail, who has personally seen visitors snapping shots of patients in their private moments, said: “We have to protect the rights of patients.”
He said senior ward staff would monitor the situation and advise visitors to use their mobile phones outside wards.
He said doctors and hospital staff should also not use mobile phones in the intensive care unit, coronary care units and other areas where its usage could affect the equipment.
On security in hospitals, he said CCTVs may be useful but it gave people a false sense of security.
“If somebody walked into a ward and told the sister-in-charge that a patient needed to be taken for an ultrasound, the sister should check whether that person is a member of the hospital staff who recommended the procedure.
“If the sister does not check, the patient could be a victim of a crime.”
This screening extends to medical students and health personnel going into the wards.
“We have many students and allied health personnel walking in and out of hospitals.
“It’s important that they identify themselves to the sister-in-charge of wards before seeing patients.”
Dr Ismail said hospital directors should carry out surprise checks to ensure that staff observed security requirements.
He also advised people not to wear jewellery when seeking treatment in hospitals.
This follows cases of patients losing jewellery in hospitals.

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