Tuesday, July 5

MHC to MoH: Take strong steps to create healthy working environment in public hospitals, clinics

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MHC said the public health sector in the country needs a positive work culture that encourages quality, learning and growth, and is anti-bullying and anti-discrimination.

KUCHING (May 8): The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) has urged the Ministry of Health (MoH) to take strong steps to create a healthy working environment in public hospitals and clinics.

In a statement today, the coalition said the public health sector in the country needs a positive work culture that encourages quality, learning and growth, and is anti-bullying and anti-discrimination.

“MHC expresses our condolences to the family of the junior doctor in Penang General Hospital who passed away recently. We would like to remind all Malaysians that our health professionals are experiencing tremendous stresses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These stresses are added to the existing stresses of an overloaded, under-staffed and under-funded public healthcare system, even before Covid-19.

“If these stresses are not managed well, the well-being and the work quality healthcare staff will be affected. In turn, that will affect patient care,” pointed out MHC.

The coalition said while it understood that junior health professionals must work longer-than-average hours to learn skills and competence, it called for a balance that protects their well-being and mental health.

For seniors, MHC said there were ways to teach, inspire and motivate juniors without being abusive.

It asserted: “For senior leaders, they must take responsibility to build safe and learning working spaces, and actively address toxic workplace behaviour.”

MHC stressed that health professionals must be made aware of the resources available for them to seek support, and all feedback must be received and investigated without the fear of repercussions.

According to the coalition, a healthy workplace is one where communication goes two ways, and the welfare of each member is accorded high priority.

MHC said it welcomed the formation of a task force to investigate the death of the doctor.

“We urge immediate and strong steps towards a positive working culture in all healthcare institutions. We must protect the health professionals who are protecting the health of the rakyat,” the coalition added.

On Thursday, Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (Dapsy) chairman Dr Kelvin Yii called on the MoH to launch an immediate and transparent investigation into the tragic incident of the Penang Hospital houseman who fell to his death from the building of his residence on April 17.

The Bandar Kuching MP said the ministry must also prepare the necessary support including emotional and psychological support to all healthcare workers including housemen to ensure such incidents do not happen again.

Yii claimed that several doctors, who prefer to remain anonymous, had said that bullying in the medical fraternity was a pervasive problem.