Following the death of a houseman in Penang, there have been claims about the toxic working conditions in the hospital and calls to look into the treatment of junior doctors.
According to Astro Awani, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) revealed that it has received more than 120 complaints from medical professionals since 2017 from both former and current housemen on alleged workplace bullying.
Meanwhile, the toxic work environment lasted for a long time because it’s seen as passage that every houseman must go through to become successful in their career.
In response to the issue, the Health Ministry (KKM) will be setting up an independent task force to investigate the death of the young doctor, who fell to his death, after allegations of bullying were brought to his attention.
In a tweet, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he had been given an early report on the death of the houseman from the head of the trainee doctors’ department and that the police are also completing their investigation.
Bullying culture is wrong and cannot be tolerated anywhere, especially in hospitals. We are awaiting for the police investigation to conclude and the post-mortem report including the chemistry results.— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) May 6, 2022
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also condemn the bullying culture and said it should not be tolerated anywhere, especially in hospitals. He added that the ministry is waiting for the post-mortem report, including the chemistry results.
Meanwhile, Penang Consumers Protection Association president Datuk K. Koris Atan proposed that KKM conduct a major overhaul of the housemanship procedures in government hospitals.
According to Malaysiakini, Penang state executive councillor Dr Norlela Ariffin said they will convene a Penang Health committee to hear the experiences and plights of junior doctors.
The meeting will be minuted and its resolution will be passed to the health minister for further action. Dr Norlela said the probe would first hear from house officers and junior doctors before inviting hospital authorities and health department officials.
“The Health Ministry has thousands of sincere and hard-working staff who save thousands of lives. I have received so many valuable insights on issues faced by house officers and junior doctors, along with suggestions on how to revamp the system.”
“I wish the Health Ministry would change the culture of keeping everything under wraps. It is frustrating because it is hard to penetrate these walls to get the truth and solve real problems,” she said.