Tuesday, October 19

Dr Rundi open to medical union joining SGH welfare committee


Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom

KUCHING: Minister of Utilities Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom has welcomed the Sarawak Medical Services Union (SMSU) to be part of the committee set up to look into the welfare of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) healthcare workers and medical staff.

He told The Borneo Post that he did not have any issue with the Union wanting to be part of the committee, and was willing to accept them if they made a formal request to him or the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

Asked if SMSU had made any formal requests, Dr Rundi said: “Not yet, but I have no problem to have them in the committee.”

SMSU yesterday i appealed to SDMC to have members of the union to represent medical workers to be in the committee.

Its vice-president Omar Bahrein Unin said in a statement that the representative was essential because the union had received feedback from its members directly and indirectly about matters concerning their welfare and safety at SGH.

The committee led by Dr Rundi and Assistant Utilities Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi was set up by SDMC last week to look into the wellbeing of SGH healthcare workers after two anonymous letters were published on the internet.

Among others the letters had alleged that the testing of SGH healthcare workers for Covid-19 was done in a haphazard manner, that they were placed in poor living conditions and they were faced with inconsistent policies.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had told reporters last Saturday that the committee would look seriously into the claims, while urging the public not to spread rumours that affect the frontliners.

“Let us establish if there is truth (to the allegations), the hospital and the government will correct any mistakes made because who doesn’t make mistakes,” he said.

Asked about the progress made by the committee so far, Dr Rundi said they were in the process of gathering information.

“It is still in discussion (currently). We will report our initial findings to SDMC later. It is not an investigation per se. It is to find any need to improve, if any, to uplift the morale of our frontliners,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Rahman said the committee was still identifying the affected members from SGH, and would call for a meeting with them afterwards.

“We have yet to call for a meeting. We are identifying the members and may call for a meeting later this week,” he said