The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) would like to express our condolences to the family of the junior doctor at Penang General Hospital who passed away recently.
We would like to remind all Malaysians that our health professionals experienced tremendous stresses during the Covid-19 pandemic. These were added to the existing stresses of an overloaded, understaffed, and underfunded public health care system that existed even before the pandemic.
If these stresses are not managed well, the wellbeing and the work quality of health care staff will be affected. In turn, this will affect patient care.
Therefore, we urge the Ministry of Health to take strong steps to create a healthy working environment in public hospitals and clinics. We need a positive work culture that encourages quality, learning, and growth, and is anti-bullying and anti-discrimination.
While we understand that junior health professionals must work longer-than-average hours to learn skills and competence, we call for a balance that protects their wellbeing and mental health.
For seniors, there are ways to teach, inspire and motivate juniors without being abusive. For senior leaders, they must take responsibility to build safe and learning working spaces, and actively address toxic workplace behaviours.
Health professionals must be made aware of the resources available for them to seek support, and all feedback must be received and investigated without the fear of repercussions.
A healthy workplace is one where communication goes two ways, and the welfare of each member is accorded high priority.
The MHC welcomes the formation of a task force to investigate the death of the doctor. We urge immediate and strong steps towards a positive working culture in all healthcare institutions.
We must protect the health professionals who are protecting the health of the rakyat.
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