Parents fume after baby having asthma attack rejected by clinic in Malaysia as it was near closing time

The parents of a baby having an asthma attack were incensed after being turned away at a clinic at the Labuan Urban Transformation Centre (pictured).
The parents of a baby having an asthma attack were incensed after being turned away at a clinic at the Labuan Urban Transformation Centre (pictured). PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Imagine your child having an asthma attack and in dire need of oxygen, but is ignored and asked to go elsewhere upon reaching the medical centre.

This is what happened to housewife Harnizum Sulaiman, 36, from the town of Beaufort, in Malaysia's state of Sabah, who was in Labuan to attend prayers for her late brother on Monday (April 4).

Ms Harnizum's one-year-old baby had trouble breathing at about 4.30pm, so she and her husband and their siblings decided to go a clinic at the Labuan Urban Transformation Centre for help.

They reached there at about 4.45pm, just 15 minutes before closing time.

"Instead of attending to my baby immediately, the two women nurses there asked me to bring him to the hospital emergency ward because it was almost closing time and they wanted to rest," she said on Wednesday (April 6).

"They even joked if we wanted to pay for their overtime if we insisted on getting my baby treated then and there," Ms Harnizum said, adding that she was already crying and begging for them to help the baby.

Eventually, she brought her baby to Labuan Hospital, where he was warded for a day.

"Initially, we wanted to lodge a report with the hospital and police, but after thinking it over, we decided not to because we did not want to make it a bigger issue," Ms Harnizum said.

However, she hoped the health authorities would take notice of the case and prevent such incidences from occurring.

"Luckily, my child is now okay," she said.

Ms Harnizum said that as health personnel, they should be more responsible and caring towards people's lives.

"This is a matter of life and death and should not be taken lightly," she added.