The Director General of Health has mentioned that our health care system is at the breaking point. Let me point out that it is way past beyond that. Any health care worker in this country knows that even before the Covid-19 pandemic started, our medical system was in dire straits with budget cuts, lack of manpower, overcrowding, and also lack of update in facilities (example: multiple fires at the same hospital in Johor, and yet nothing was made public).
It is getting ridiculous at my hospital (Hospital Sungai Buloh), also known as a Covid hospital. I am a doctor working at this hospital, and I can say that the basic amenities are lacking. Sometimes we are on call every other day (EOD) in dealing with Covid-19 patients and will continue working after our shift ends.
While I understand that it is our job, the hospital is supposed to provide us with rest rooms and food, but all this has been discontinued. They told us that there is a budget cut, so food cannot be provided for doctors. Do you know how exhausted we are when we are on call, especially when we have to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) all the time?
And yet when we want to take a break, there is no proper place to rest, and worst of all, we can’t even have a proper meal. We have already brought these issues to higher authorities (even the hospital director), but our complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Some of the senior doctors even said that this unprecedented crisis calls for unprecedented actions and said we were pampered before.
Some of my colleagues have fallen into depression and have started taking antidepressants. Some of us have not seen our loved ones for months. We are tired, annoyed, and way past the breaking point. With new cases rising every day, the worst is yet to come.
We are not asking to be immortalised as wall murals. We are pleading to the authorities to at least provide us a secure environment to carry out our duties, and to treat us like human beings.
This is a letter written by an anonymous doctor from Sungai Buloh Hospital.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.