Doc assaulted over MC gets it herself instead

SINGAPORE - An administrative assistant was jailed for 12 weeks yesterday for assaulting a doctor who did not give her younger sister a medical certificate (MC).

Nurhayati Shedek, 23, pleaded guilty to slapping the hand of Dr Yeo Chye Luan, 64, grabbing her neck from behind as well as pushing her head down towards a table.

Ironically, Dr Yeo was given four days' medical leave after the incident. She was treated at Singapore General Hospital the next day for abrasions on her hand and tenderness and discomfort on her neck.

The attack took place in a consultation room at Tampines Polyclinic on Aug 27 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap said Nurhayati and her sister Nur Hazirah, 16, had both gone to the polyclinic for medical consultations.

Nurhayati was attended to by another doctor who gave her a day's MC, but her sister, a student, was not given any by Dr Yeo, who issued her a time chit instead.

When Nurhayati noticed that there was no date on her sister's time chit, she confronted Dr Yeo in her consultation room. She raised her voice and demanded to know why her sister was not given an MC, despite the long wait.

Ms Yap said Nurhayati then threw down the time chit and banged on the table, insisting that Dr Yeo write an MC for her sister. The doctor refused.

When Dr Yeo reached out to pick up her telephone to call for help, Nurhayati stopped her by slapping her on the hand and grabbing her neck from the back. She also pushed the doctor's head towards the table.

Dr Yeo was too shocked to shout for help. She broke free and rushed out of the room to the patients' waiting area.

Nurhayati followed her and grabbed her neck from the back and pushed her head. A charge related to this was considered during her sentencing.

Dr Yeo escaped by walking quickly towards the main staircase and told a health attendant to inform the registration counter to call the police.

It is not known what ailments Nurhayati and her sister had sought medical help for. Nurhayati could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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