After survey pointing to crisis in healthcare, doctors tell Health Ministry to use it as wake-up call for reforms
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 — Following a survey of healthcare professionals signalling a crisis, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) called for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to take the findings positively and to use the data to speed up reform.
In a statement, MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said that although reform will require time and funding, problems that do not require either can still be addressed immediately, such as improvements to the work environment and the work-life balance of healthcare workers.
“Data on bed utilisation and distribution of house officers, medical officers, specialists, nurses, assistant medical officers, pharmacists and allied healthcare workers should immediately be used to address the anomaly in distribution of manpower,” he said.
The president of the group representing over 10,000 doctors said that immediate steps are needed as dissatisfaction with the system can impact the quality of care given to patients.
Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said that immediate steps are needed as dissatisfaction with the system can impact the quality of care given to patients. ― Borneo Post pic
He also expressed hopes that the new Budget 2023 which will be tabled later this month will provide resources focused on increasing and enhancing healthcare human resources.
“We believe the prime minister, who is a reformist himself, understands the importance of a resilient healthcare system and therefore we hope that the budget for health will be reflective of the government’s commitment towards the much needed healthcare reforms,” he said.
He pointed to the findings of the survey by healthcare news outlet CodeBlue that 73 per cent of the 1,652 government doctors, pharmacists, dentists, medical assistants, nurses, and allied health care workers who participated in the survey are thinking of quitting.
“If this many are thinking of quitting, we are concerned as to how long more they can endure the frustration while carrying out their duties.
“Will the health ministry’s planned reforms take place before they break down or leave for better opportunities?” he said.
CodeBlue, an online health news site, had conducted a survey titled “Dissatisfaction Among Health Care Professionals and Workers in Malaysia’s Health Service” which found that 95 per cent of the healthcare workers polled believed the country’s public healthcare system is in “crisis”.
A further 80 per cent stated that they were overworked and underpaid while 74 per cent expressed that they are burnt out.
Besides that, 60 per cent said they were insecure about their career progression.