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Reporter’s diary: Even hospitals not immune to the virus of moral policing

The last thing that a reporter worries about while going to a government hospital is the chances of facing moral policing from the staff.

Reporter’s diary: Even hospitals not immune to the virus of moral policing


But that is exactly what a reporter who recently accompanied a friend to the emergency wing of the Government Royapettah hospital had to undergo. The journalist, was clad in a t-shirt and capri pants while taking her friend on an ambulance, was asked to stay out of her room because of the allegedly ‘inappropriate’ dressing sense. However, finding no other attendant for the patient, the hospital staff had to ask the reporter to return to the patient’s side to undertake the formalities. But that did not stop the moral policing, which continued even after the patient was shifted to the general ward, where the nurses asked the reporter to go home and change into ‘proper’ clothes. Despite informing that there was no other attendant with the patient, the nurses refused to relent and started arguing. A nurse even complained to the nurses’ station and demanded that the reporter leave the ward, and she was also warned that a complaint would be lodged with the senior officials of the hospital about the scribe’s dressing sense. The reporter who knew senior officials immediately got in touch with them asking if there was a dress code for patient attendants. The officials apologised for the moral policing she had to go through, and assured that the staff would be directed not to discriminate patients or their attendants based on their dress.

— Shweta Tripathi

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