A few weeks and months ago, news emerged about a shortage of medical personnel in hospitals and health clinics. CodeBlue has also published articles related to the issue of a shortage of medical personnel in hospitals/ health clinics before.
As a public servant of the District Health Office or Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah (PKD), I feel that the issue of a shortage of medical personnel is bulls**t.
For the information of all readers, a movement has been underway for the past five years to transfer medical personnel from hospitals or health clinics in PKDs. Not one or two, but even dozens of medical personnel can be placed in one PKD.
They are placed in PKDs using the capacity of “Jawatan Tanpa Waran“. Their placement in the employment system is in hospitals or clinics or anywhere that can provide clinical services.
The medical personnel placed in PKD are not specialists in medicine. However, there is a post for Public Health Specialists in PKD. The number of specialists is usually not more than three people to lead the PKD.
The abundance of medical personnel in PKDs is completely unnecessary. They sit and work in PKDs only as the Head of the Infectious Disease Control Unit, which is not their field of duty.
These tasks should be given to assistant officers or environmental health officers (also known as health inspectors) who are more competent in this field.
Medical personnel should work in hospitals to treat patients. Let the prevention and control of infectious diseases be carried out by assistant officers/ environmental health officers.
There are also medical personnel who head the vector-borne disease control unit on the basis of “Jawatan Tanpa Waran”. They are not even an entomologist. These medical personnel have no expertise in public health, but can lead a department in the PKD — supposedly giving technical advice.
Do not forget other units such as the Unit Aduan, Quality Unit, and Occupational Health Unit, where these non-specialist medical personnel are attached to and lead those units.
The Ministry of Health is led by medical personnel. I am not a medical personnel, but work at a PKD as an assistant environmental health officer.
If this issue was raised at the Jabatan or Ministry level, it would not result in anything because those at the Ministry are also medical personnel. We can accept public health specialists in PKD because this is their placement. One or two public health specialists in PKD are enough.
Medical personnel in PKD, who are not specialists, should return to hospitals or health clinics. That is where you all belong. These units in PKD can be led by environmental health officers and senior assistant environmental health officers who are much more competent!
Any medical officer who wants to be an epidemiologist or Pakar Perubatan Kesihatan Awam will be placed at the PKD as a requirement or an exposure on public health things before they pursue study in a Doctorate of Public Health (DRPH) programme.
The same goes for any medical officer in the hospital who is interested in becoming an oncologist — they will be placed at the Oncology Department before pursuing a specialist programme.
The issue at PKDs all over Malaysia right now is these medical officers do not even intend to pursue their study in DRPH. Most of these medical officers had some competency-related issue at a hospital or health clinic, so the PKD became a dumping area for these people.
We could have thousands of medical officers if they returned to the hospital or clinic.
CodeBlue is providing the author, an assistant environmental health officer, anonymity because civil servants are prohibited from writing to the press.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.