Doula issue: Health Ministry to act if report lodged

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The Health Ministry will take action on ‘doula’ (birth coach) services which went viral on Facebook recently, if it received a report.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya said so far, the ministry had not received any report on the matter.

“We will take action if there is a report. Action will be taken (against the culprit) if found guilty… we have laws,” he told reporters after officiating the 1Malaysia Community Carnival at the Teluk Kumbar Community Hall in George Town today.

He was commenting on the recent death of a baby following a home birth under the supervision of a ‘doula’ via phone call at a house in Johor Bahru.

Dr Hilmi advised women, especially those at risk of birth complications, to give birth at government hospitals which were equipped with adequate facilities and had qualified medical specialists and nurses.

“We do not encourage those who are at risk to give birth outside (hospitals). If possible, give birth at our hospitals. We have the facilities as well as a number of specialists and nurses. In fact, it only costs RM10 at government hospitals.

“We do not want the child to die because it was the parents who wanted to try to do it (themselves). It does not make sense. So, please don’t… Our children are so precious.

“There are couples who have been married for 10 years with no children but when they do have one, they opted to give birth that way. That’s very dangerous,” he noted. – Bernama