Hartal Doktor Kontrak urges Health Ministry to discipline senior medical staff to end bullying in govt hospitals

·2-min read
Dr Muhammad alleged housemen and other young medical officers in the public health sector have been facing all kinds of physical and mental abuses as well as sexual harassment at work. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Dr Muhammad alleged housemen and other young medical officers in the public health sector have been facing all kinds of physical and mental abuses as well as sexual harassment at work. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — The Health Ministry must step up its action to show there is no room for bullying in government hospitals and clinics, a spokesman for the Hartal Doctor Kontrak movement said today following outcry over two housemen who fell to death recently.

According to Dr Muhammad Yassin, housemen and other young medical officers in the public health sector have been facing all kinds of physical and mental abuses as well as sexual harassment at work, Sinar Harian reported today.

He urged the ministry to take strict disciplinary action against the bullying of medical staff, whom he claimed were not just senior doctors but also nurses.

“Some of the victims almost wanted to commit suicide because they are too depressed being insulted and scolded.

“Three doctors have decided to quit the job, while some get the help of psychiatrists because the situation has been bad,” he was quoted as saying.

The Malay newspaper reported that social media has been abuzz over claims that a young doctor assigned to a hospital in Tawau, Sabah had been bullied by another medical officer.

Malay Mail has not been able to verify the claims.

Dr Muhammad suggested that the Health Ministry could withdraw opportunities for further studies, salary increases and rank advancements for those found bullying junior doctors to send a clear message that such a culture would not be tolerated.

“It will be unfortunate if the bullies were given the opportunity to continue their studies to become a medical expert.

“That gives a pretty bad perception to young doctors and the community that bullies can be rewarded,” he told Sinar Harian.

He also urged the ministry to cooperate with police investigations into the latest investigation over the confirmed death of a houseman at the Penang Hospital, allegedly due to bullying.

“If it is true that there is an issue of bullying, then we have to stop them. The ministry needs to be serious about zero tolerance towards bullying.

“Otherwise, the community will lose faith if cases involving bullying among health workers were not taken action. The young doctors will lose their faith in their superiors,” Dr Muhammad was quoted saying.

Penang health director Dr Ma’arof Sudin confirmed three days ago that a trainee doctor placed at the state general hospital on April 4 died from falling on April 17 from the latter's building of residence.

The gender of the houseman was not disclosed.

Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced a federal task force will be formed to look into the case and bullying allegations.

*If you are lonely, distressed, or having negative thoughts, Befrienders offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day. Contact Befrienders KL at 03-79568145 or 04-2910100 in Penang, or 05-547 7933/7955 in Ipoh, or 088 255 788 in Sabah, or email sam@befrienders.org.my. There are also free hotlines for young people. Talian Kasih at 15999 (24/7); and Talian BuddyBear at 1800-18-2327(BEAR)(daily 12pm-12am).

Related Articles Medical group calls for respectful work environment, says govt must act to stop harassment against junior doctors Health Ministry to investigate existence of fake blood screening campaign targeting senior citizens Police nab man over bullying case in Taiping

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting