Woman in Penang gives birth in car, after public hospital allegedly told her to go home

PHOTO: Facebook/Penangku Viral

Less than three hours after she was sent home by a doctor last Monday (Dec 27), a Malaysian woman had to give birth in a car while stuck in traffic on the way back to the hospital, The New Straits Times reported. 

Last Tuesday, a viral Facebook post from Penangku Viral surfaced, recounting the incident. The post has since garnered over 1,600 reactions and more than 771 comments.

According to the post, the woman — who lives in Sungai Ara,  a neighbourhood located on Penang Island — had reportedly tried to admit herself into a public hospital on the mainland at 11am after experiencing signs of labour. 

At about 12.30pm, a doctor inspected her and found that her cervix was only dilated to 2cm according to The Star. Not expecting her to deliver anytime soon, she was told go home after three hours.

The woman had pleaded with the doctor to let her remain in the hospital, citing that she lived off the mainland — but was ignored. 

At about 7pm that evening, the woman told her husband that she needed to be rushed to the hospital again, as she was bleeding.  

Due to peak hour traffic, navigation app Waze estimated that it would take at least 50 minutes for the couple to reach the nearest public hospital.

The woman eventually went into labour and gave birth in the car. She was then brought to a nearby private hospital. 

Although both mother and child are safe, the family now has to worry about the extra costs incurred from visiting a private hospital. 

Regarding the incident, Penang's State Health Department director, Dr Ma'arof Sudin, told media last Friday that an investigation would be conducted immediately to "improve the delivery of health and medical services to the people". 

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claudiatan@asiaone.com