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Malaysian doctors want freedom from neckties

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 (US$4.5; euro3.2) 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.


Updated : 2020-11-30 07:37 GMT+08:00