KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 – Sungai Buloh Hospital has set up an Investigation Committee to probe bullying and sexual harassment allegations by house officers in its obstetrics and gynaecology department.
Sungai Buloh Hospital director Dr Jasmeet Singh Sucha Singh said his hospital’s top management viewed bullying issues particularly seriously.
“As such, an Investigation Committee has been formed to investigate the veracity of complaints to identify the cause of the incidents and to ensure that improvement measures are taken immediately.
“Investigation results show that some of the complaints received had basis, while some were baseless. The Sungai Buloh Hospital administration has immediately implemented several measures of improvement.”
Dr Jasmeet’s statement did not specify when exactly Sungai Buloh Hospital received the bullying complaints by housemen, when the Investigation Committee was formed, when the committee completed its investigation (as seemingly indicated by his statement), which complaints had basis or were baseless, what “improvement” measures were undertaken, or if the accused bullies faced any reprimand or disciplinary action.
The statement was posted on Hospital Sungai Buloh Selangor’s Facebook page yesterday evening; the federal Ministry of Health (MOH) forwarded Sungai Buloh Hospital’s statement to its media WhatsApp group this afternoon.
CodeBlue published earlier this morning complaints by a self-identified representative of house officers in Sungai Buloh Hospital’s O&G department about daily bullying, including sexual harassment of female housemen, from at least seven named medical officers against all trainee doctors in the department.
Besides sexual remarks at women house officers in the public hospital’s O&G department that caused at least one to face “mental pressures”, housemen also complained about senior doctors calling them sexist slurs like “b*tch”, yelling at them in front of patients, excessive work hours that were allegedly not notified to the head of department, as well as denial of annual leave and meal and rest breaks.
The complainant’s letter to CodeBlue last Wednesday said housemen were unable to report bullying and sexual harassment to the hospital administration – and that the head of the O&G department and specialists serving the department were unaware of the problems – because trainee doctors were allegedly threatened with housemanship extensions and poorer assessments if they were to file complaints.
CodeBlue provided a copy of the complaint, omitting the complainant’s name but maintaining the names of the accused bullies, to Sungai Buloh Hospital’s top management and Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa prior to publication of the article.
Sungai Buloh Hospital director Dr Jasmeet urged MOH staff to report workplace bullying through MOH’s MyHelp complaints channel.
“Any effort towards the improvement of the work culture and management of health services at this hospital is always welcome and will be considered appropriately.”
Last February 7, Dr Jasmeet was officially appointed director of Sungai Buloh Hospital, a secondary and tertiary MOH hospital in Selangor, replacing Dr Kuldip Kaur Prem Singh.