Tired Frontliners Near Breaking Point — Dr Tachdjian

Patients can be stranded in the emergency department at Kuala Lumpur Hospital for days waiting for admissions to the ward.

I am a government specialist writing on behalf of doctors working at the frontline at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

We are stretched, tired, and almost at breaking point. The number of on-call doctors in certain departments have increased by more than 100 per cent, eg. from eight medical officers to 20. ICU beds have also increased from 30 to 73 beds. Multiple wards have been repurposed to become Covid-19 wards.

Patients can be stranded in the emergency department for days waiting for admissions to the ward. Non-Covid-19 patients have been pushed aside to make way for Covid-19 patients. The situation has not only affected doctors, but nursing staff, allied health care, etc.

The current wave of patients is more severely infected, as evidenced by the alarming death rate that has reached 60 people a day. This number is equivalent (more than, in fact) to a whole classroom of children dying a day. Every single day!

We are running out of ICU beds. We are running out of ventilators. Before dying, many patients had to say their last goodbyes to their loved ones through video calls. Imagine saying goodbye to a family member knowing that he or she might die in the next week?

We were at a daily case number of one last year. What went wrong? The Sabah state elections last year triggered the beginning of this current wave, and it is obvious that the recent Hari Raya celebrations are the cause of the spike of cases past the 6,000-per-day mark.

The stubborn attitude of certain parties frustrate us. Many do not see the gravity of the situation; parents still bring children out to the malls and parks; we hear of Raya celebrations still being carried out; places of worship are still frequented by many.

They do not realise that their act of visiting relatives has caused the death of other people’s loved ones; going to a place of worship to pray to God has ironically caused others to die. What kind of selfish attitude is this?

The government has no SOPs to tell you to not jump off a bridge — but it is common sense not to do so, because you would probably die. Likewise – just because the government’s SOPs are confusing does not mean that the rakyat cannot use their common sense. Having a maximum of three people in the car does not mean that you must have three people in the car!

The government needs to simplify their SOPs for this pandemic. Introduce a tier system that has been used by other countries. We have about 10 different combinations of Movement Control Orders, each with different versions – 1.0, 2.0, and with ever changing regulations. This has resulted in the waste of precious resources just to work around the confusion.

To the general public, please sign up for vaccination. It is the least you can do to make a difference and help curb the spread of the virus. The side effects are minimal and much less when compared to the case numbers, death rate and risk of getting infected. To have access to the vaccine and yet refuse it is pure ignorance and selfishness.

Dr Tachdjian is a pseudonym.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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