Earlier this week, a post on a Facebook group complaining about the lack of seats at a Pahang hospital lobby went viral among social media users.
The post in question showed pictures of the empty lobby in Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital in Temerloh, Pahang (HOSHAS). The user complained that the lobby used to be filled with chairs for visitors to sit, but now it’s empty.
He complained that many visitors have to sit on the floor or bring their own chairs because of this. Many netizens also voiced their dissatisfaction with the lack of chairs for visitors.
This post quickly circulated all over Facebook and even caught the attention of a doctor working at this very hospital.
Dr. Rafidah Abdullah, Physician/Nephrologist and head of department of medicine at HOSHAS was surprised at the complaints and also took to Facebook to voice the hospital’s perspective on this issue.
She justified that the hospital lobby shouldn’t have chairs occupying space because in the event of an emergency, patients admitted in the hospital need to be evacuated, and many of them have to be wheeled out.
If chairs were to occupy space in hospital lobbies, they would block the way and cause many patients and staff to be stuck in the middle of evacuation.
Dr. Rafidah also went on to list out other important things hospital visitors should consider.
She encouraged people not to visit people admitted in hospital if they themselves are sick. She also mentioned that hospitals are not meant to be hangout spots.
Visitors are not encouraged to linger in hospitals as they have a high risk of catching something from patients.
She also emphasised the importance of abiding by hospital visiting hours. If people crowd the hospital wards, it could interfere with the patients’ treatment and put them in even more harm.
Huge crowds of people in wards could also interfere with safety and evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency.
Dr. Rafidah expressed her disappointment in Malaysian netizens complaining about the lack of seating areas for visitors in the lobby, without thinking of the reasons why the hospital is designed that way in the first place.
She emphasised that medical staff in the hospital do not want to inconvenience anyone and implied that visitors should also take responsibility for the patients’ well-being.
We could all learn a thing or two from this doctor’s message!