KUCHING, June 9 — Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) staff are generally pleased with the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) investigation into Covid-19 safety issues, a state official said.
Sarawak state health department director Dr Chin Zin Hing noted that there might be a few medical staff who are still unhappy with what the SDMC has done in terms of its investigation and resolution to issues with SGH health care workers’ welfare, but insisted that most of them are satisfied.
“So far, actually from the staff I think most of them are quite okay. There might be one or two (unsatisfied ones), but I think most of them are actually quite happy with what we’ve done so far. The whole thing has come down and things are more clear and so on,” he told a press conference here.
The SDMC earlier last month set up a committee led by Sarawak Utilities Minister Dr Stephen Rundi Utom to investigate the welfare of SGH medical staff, after a couple of anonymous letters concerning SGH health care workers’ safety amid the Covid-19 crisis were published online, including one from a self-dubbed “burnt-out health care worker” at SGH that was sent to CodeBlue.
“We had several meetings involving a few of our ministers including Dato Sri Prof Sim [Kui Hian], Dato Sri Stephen Rundi, and YB Datuk Abdul Rahman.
“So, we have invited all the representatives from different categories of the staff, so they have voiced out their issue. The management (of the) hospital and also our State Health Department have taken note on all those issues raised,” Dr Chin reported.
He further added that explanations as to why certain standard operating procedures (SOP) are in place were given to the medical staff of Sarawak’s main public hospital.
“We explained to them why certain procedures were done. I think one of the complaint examples was a lot of changes initially on the SOP for health care workers when they are suspected to have the disease, what needs to be done, when they can come back, all these things,” he added, reiterating that most of the issues with health care workers’ welfare at SGH have been “settled”.
Dr Chin explained that Covid-19 or the novel coronavirus was previously unknown to all, therefore experience with the virus was necessary to enhance the SOP needed to be put in place to ensure workplace safety for the medical staff at SGH.
“Initially all of us were not very sure about this disease, but as we have more evidence, we are more confident that we actually stick to a better SOP and so on,” he explained.
“Most of the issues I think we have settled, we have tried to explain to them. I think they also understand why and I think now they also know why we do all those things. If there is any individual (with any issue), we will try to take care (of it) with them individually.”
When asked about whether there is a report on all the issues concerning the welfare of health care workers at SGH, Dr Chin told the press that the said report has been delivered to the federal Ministry of Health (MOH).
“We have the report. We have sent the report to our MOH actually.”
In response to whether the said report would be released to the press, Dr Chin said that he will check with Putrajaya to see whether MOH can disclose the report.
SDMC today reported one new Covid-19 case, located in Kuching, which brings the total number of Covid-19 cases in the state to 556. No new discharged case was reported today; the total number of discharged cases remains at 525 or a 94.42 per cent recovery rate.