It has been nearly two weeks since I last spoke about the collapsing health care system. It is already too late, and yet too little is being done.
Dear Prime Minister, paying a visit merely causes more cover-ups by the hospital directors themselves. These videos (and many others on social media) should be proof enough that the health care system has already collapsed.
Here are videos taken this past week in two major hospitals in the Klang Valley, one of which has been converted to a full Covid-19 hospital.
Isolation cubicles meant for one are being used by three patients; Covid-19 positive patients on oxygen supplementation are sitting up when they should be lying down. Patients are even lying on the floor due to the lack of beds!
There is barely any room to push a bed through the sea of patients. I shudder to think of what might happen if a fire was to break out there.
There are, on average, more than 100 patients in the emergency department waiting to be admitted, and some have been stranded there for five to six days, still waiting to be admitted to the wards.
The lack of an AV system requires the use of a loudhailer to call out patients’ names when admission to the ward is scheduled. The video depicting a staff member pushing an oxygen tank shows the state of the oxygen supply at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, and the difficulty in getting one single tank to the emergency department.
Channel Resources To The Klang Valley And Use Emergency Funds
More staff and equipment need to be sent to the Klang Valley, since it is hit the hardest by the pandemic. Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Johor should also not be neglected before they become worse than the Klang Valley.
Ventilators, oxygen concentrators and other equipment are lacking, and ordinary Malaysians have been fundraising to purchase these items. Surely emergency funds can be mobilised for this purpose?
Protect Health Care Workers
In many tertiary hospitals, staff members are forced to work double shifts, inevitably stretching them to their limits. It is a matter of time before mental breakdowns and suicide attempts start happening within hospitals.
Mobilise staff from other states in large amounts and not in small numbers; final-year nursing and medical students can be roped in to help with basic clinical work.
Close down services in other states to mobilise staff if you have to. Don’t wait for Covid-19 to hit before having a meeting to decide.
This suggestion has been made by many — test, test and test! The speed of the RTK test makes up for what it lacks in accuracy.
We need to test and identify those who are infected to effectively reduce the spread. Some countries are even doing weekly testing for students and workers in areas of high human contact.
Make Use Of The Emergency Ordinance
Decant both Covid-19 patients and non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals. The conversion of hospitals to full Covid-19 centres has severely impaired the care of non-Covid-19 patients, such as cancer patients.
Enough discussion and planning. Act now before more lives are lost.
It is not enough to convert hospitals to become full Covid-19 centres and redirect new patients. Send existing patients out to make room for new ones. Use the army to transport patients, and for the setting up of more field hospitals.
Designate hotels as free quarantine facilities for health care workers, especially those with young children and elderly parents at home. What is the point of the Emergency Ordinance if the only difference is that Parliament is not open?
Set Good Examples
Leaders and politicians gallivanting everywhere and attending events will cause the people to take lightly the ever changing SOPs and Movement Control Orders (MCO). Stop blaming the rakyat when your own Cabinet is unable to set a good example.
A proper restriction of movement is necessary in badly hit areas , in order to stop the spread of the virus. Stop changing SOPs and issuing countless Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) letters to those who do not deserve them.
The pandemic is indeed an acid test for a system that has been held together by flimsy support that is finally collapsing in the storm, and exposes cut and paste facilities that are crumbling below pressure.
Please do not waste time trying to cover up when the prime minister visits, or send another threatening circular.
Should investigations to penalise staff be carried out, more videos will be released. This is the cry of health care workers who have been working tirelessly for over a year, and they will not be silenced anymore.
Malaysia is suffering. Please do something.
I end with the words of Dr Amar-Singh HSS:
“The government of the day cannot dictate to us that they know best and impose their version of actions, without full transparency and external oversight. We need all elected representatives, government or Opposition, we need all health care professionals, government, private, universities or retired, we need the many people with ideas, from diverse occupations and backgrounds, from all over the nation, to all provide ideas and support to end this travesty.”
CodeBlue is publishing this letter anonymously due to the government’s gag order on health care workers.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.