Amid Political Crisis, Health Workers Continue To Struggle — MMA

While politicians play musical chairs, health care workers continue to struggle daily with rising cases of Covid-19, burnout, lack of manpower, beds, oxygen and equipment.

The political landscape may be changing, but nothing much has changed for our health care workers who are still struggling daily with rising cases of Covid-19, burnout, lack of manpower, beds, oxygen and equipment.

The long-standing issue of contract doctors has also not been resolved, and from the looks of things, this too may be put on hold yet again, thanks to politics.

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) hopes that while the nation faces yet another uncertainty in leadership, these issues will not be conveniently forgotten. Whoever the government of the day is, it must ensure the wellbeing of healthcare workers, remain a high priority especially during this time of a pandemic.  

Though there is an expected downtrend in hospital admissions by the end of August due to ramped-up vaccinations, public hospitals are still overwhelmed, with some states starting to see a spike in Covid-19 cases.

We have already lost close to 400 junior doctors, who have decided they have had enough, and the patience of their remaining colleagues is wearing thin. It is only a matter of time before more will throw in the towel.

MMA has stated before that the government should not take this lightly, as the growing frustration can have a serious impact on the standard of care in the public health care system.

Our health care workers seem to be taken for granted. Many feel that their services are only needed now because of the pandemic. The Hippocratic oath is often emphasised, but our comrades are being stretched to their limits. Many have even perished from Covid-19 infection.

It has been close to a month since the prime minister informed MMA that it will be invited for policy discussions, but none has taken place to date. Regardless of the outcome in the country’s leadership, urgency is required in addressing these issues.

Prof Dr Subramaniam Muniandy is president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

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