Teacher claims the staff treated her 'worse than an animal' A kindergarten teacher yesterday said she was treated 'worse than an animal' by medical staff at a private clinic after an X-ray showed she had contracted pneumonia. Kabeeta Gurung, who was discharged from Queen Mary Hospital yesterday after it was confirmed she had not been infected with atypical pneumonia but a common strain of the condition, said she was outraged at the reaction and treatment she received at the hands of a clinical technician and other staff at a Central clinic. 'The technician took my X-ray into a doctor's room. When she came back out, she looked panic-stricken and just said to me: 'You. You have it. You have pneumonia.' 'She then told another lady waiting in the same room to leave and ordered me to go and stand in the corner. By this stage, my heart was racing. I had no idea what was going on,' Ms Gurung said. The frightened patient was told to see her doctor immediately. 'They kept their distance and just threw a face mask at me, telling me I had to wear that for the protection of others. I was shaking and fumbling with the mask so one grudgingly helped me,' she said. Ms Gurung said that as she left the clinic to return to her doctor, two of the staff came running after her, telling her she would need to go straight to hospital instead. 'The radiologist put the X-ray into an envelope and wrote 'pneumonia' on it. She just threw it on a ledge for me to retrieve. They treated me worse than an animal,' she said. 'As I left, one of them said 'good luck to you, missie'. In the right context, I might have appreciated that, but the tone was more one of 'you have a deadly disease - best of luck to you'.' Ms Gurung said the staff's 'panic-stricken' reaction left her badly shaken and uncertain about what to expect at Queen Mary Hospital. 'I half expected they would be waiting for me with uniformed guards. But when I arrived ... they were just professional and calm - like care-givers should be,' she said. After two days in hospital and being cleared of atypical pneumonia, Ms Gurung is now recuperating at home. 'I promised myself that as soon as I was discharged, I would go public on how I had been treated at the private clinic. There will no doubt be many other people who have to get X-rays and I would hate for them to be treated like I was,' she said. The Nepalese-born teacher, who was educated in England, said she did not think her treatment was due to a communication barrier. 'They were curt when I first arrived, but after the X-ray showed I had a patch on my lungs, their behaviour changed completely. They treated me like I had the bubonic plague,' she said. A spokesman for the clinic defended the treatment given to Ms Gurung, saying: 'While the member of staff may have been alarmed initially because of the seriousness of the condition, the treatment given to the patient was appropriate.'