78yo woman bitten by dog allegedly rejected by Sarawak General Hospital, asked to return 3 days later for treatment

Milton Foo

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KUCHING, June 7: A 78-year-old woman who was bitten by her own dog and sought treatment at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) on June 3, was allegedly rejected and told to return three days later.

According to Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Public Complaint Bureau (PCB) chief Milton Foo, the lady’s family member claimed that a medical officer had told the elderly victim that the hospital was unable to give her an immediate rabies vaccination due to the “long holiday” and the case being “low risk”.

Worried about the life endangering situation, the woman was left with no choice but to go to a private hospital for a rabies vaccination at her own cost.

“Are we telling the public that you have to choose a good day or check on the auspicious zodiac date of being bitten by a dog? I can’t accept it, and the family members of the injured definitely can’t accept it as well.

“The medical officer who said that no medical staff can attend to the administration of rabies injection/vaccination due to long holiday, should be more considerate and sensitive. What if this was to happen to his or her family member?

“If (the patient is at) low risk as told, why the victim was nevertheless asked to come back to the hospital at 2pm on June 6 to receive a rabies vaccination?

“It makes no sense and I must say this is the worst reason out of all. The victim and her family members cannot agree to the reason given,” Foo said in a statement yesterday.

Foo further pointed out that the shortage of medical personnel in Malaysia has been a long-standing issue and urged the current unity government to resolve the problem.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) and government hospitals should act proactively to provide relative emergency measures for immediate rabies treatment and vaccination when people get bitten by dogs.

“The ministry shall pay high and more attention by deploying more medical personnel and medical resources to Sarawak to combat rabies during this time,” he added.

Attempts have been made to reach a representative of SGH for further comment, but DayakDaily has yet to receive a response as of press time. — DayakDaily