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Include reps from doctors’ groups in task force, govt told

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 14/5/2022 FMT Reporters
The independent Healthcare Work Culture Improvement Task Force was announced yesterday to probe the bullying of young doctors and the toxic work culture. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today The independent Healthcare Work Culture Improvement Task Force was announced yesterday to probe the bullying of young doctors and the toxic work culture.

PETALING JAYA: Groups representing doctors have criticised Putrajaya for not including them in the newly-formed task force probing the bullying culture at government hospitals.

In a joint statement, the five groups said while the independent Healthcare Work Culture Improvement Task Force (HWCITF) comprises many prominent individuals who are leading members in their respective fields, the absence of workers from the ground, especially junior doctors, is glaring.

“It is our concern that this may lead to a severe disconnect from everyday doctors manning our government hospitals and clinics,” they said.

The statement was jointly signed by Hartal Doktor Kontrak, the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia, Malaysian Medics International, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Junior Doctors’ Network, and MMA’s Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers, and Specialists (Schomos).

Yesterday, the health ministry announced the formation of the task force which will be headed by UCSI vice-chancellor Siti Hamisah Tapsir. The other members are Hamidah Naziadin, Dr Zabidi AM Hussin, Ridza Abdulla, Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, Dr Chong Su-Lin, Sivaramakrishnan Balasubramanian, Manvir Victor, and a representative from the public service department.

In announcing the composition of the task force, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said it will, among other things, analyse and evaluate the work culture, and the human resources management in the healthcare sector in general, as well as in relation to the recent death of a junior doctor.

“Apart from the incident involving the death of a junior doctor at Penang Hospital (last month), there have also been other reports and complaints concerning incidents of bullying and mental stress faced, not only by junior doctors, but also healthcare sector staff,” he said.

Dr Kelvin Yii. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Dr Kelvin Yii.

Meanwhile, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urged Khairy to table the task force’s findings to the special parliamentary select committee (PSC) on health, science and innovation.

“Once the task force’s report is completed and recommendations made, I urge the minister to submit the findings to PSC before tabling it in Parliament.

“This is to get bipartisan input and even bipartisan endorsement to boost public confidence in order to better address this issue as it is of public importance,” he said in a statement.

Yii also called for representatives from MMA and other medical bodies to be included in the panel.

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