KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today announced the formation of a task force to investigate the death of a young doctor in Penang, who fell to his death, after allegations of bullying were brought to his attention.
Two days ago, the Penang Health Department confirmed the death of the houseman assigned to the state general hospital, after news reports of the incident raised questions over the work conditions for junior doctors.
State Health director Dr Ma’arof Sudin said the trainee doctor was placed at Penang Hospital on April 4 and fell to his death on April 17 from the latter’s building of residence.
“I have received an early report on the death of a houseman from the deceased’s head of department in Penang. The police are also completing their investigation.
“KKM Putrajaya will form an independent task force to probe this case and the bullying culture which allegedly happened,” Khairy said via Twitter.
On May 4, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy and state executive councillor for health Norlela Ariffin had both highlighted the houseman’s death and called on the authorities to delve deeper into the incident.
Norlela claimed junior doctors at government hospitals in Malaysia were subject to “inhumane working conditions” that often left them exhausted and vulnerable to “accidents”.
Ramasamy claimed the latest houseman fatality to be the result of bullying and harassment, adding that it was the second incident in two years.
In a separate statement, Penang Consumers Protection Association president Datuk K. Koris Atan proposed that the Health Ministry conduct a “major overhaul” of housemanship procedures in government hospitals.
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