A New DG, A New Era For Medical Personnel – Stephen Ng

Newly-appointed Health director-general Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan is praised for his low-profile and team-oriented approach by the medical community.

Allow me to first congratulate Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan on his appointment as the new Health director-general.

Based on feedback I have received, Dr Radzi appears to be getting a good rating.

“He is a kind and low-profile person,” according to one person. “He is a team player,” another said.

A number of medical doctors have also given some positive feedback about his appointment.

Please allow me to give him a heads-up so that he can become a good director-general, respected by everyone within the medical fraternity.

Firstly, in the event that Malaysia has to face another pandemic, delegate the job of releasing the daily statistics to the public relations team, instead of hogging the limelight yourself.

Secondly, the DG’s job is to boost the morale of medical staff who are working around the clock to fight the virus. During the pandemic, many of them became exhausted, and some were even at the verge of giving up.

Thirdly, although he may not like the limelight, he should use both traditional media and social media to communicate with everyone within the fraternity.

The media can play a very important role. Even though doctors and nurses may be fighting the battle against the virus, when they see that their DG is on the ground, their morale will be boosted.

Fourthly, go down to the ground more often to observe how so-called “autonomy” has turned public hospitals into chaotic wet markets. From my experience, although Selayang Hospital’s registration is streamlined, the waiting area is often congested, as no one will follow the schedule, as everyone has an appointment at 8.00am.

This is why during the early hours of the day, you cannot find a parking spot, but by about 11.00am, it gets easier. I had hoped the situation will be eased after the new health minister took over.

But when I brought my daughter to a public hospital in Kuala Lumpur. we had to walk in circles just to find the registration counter. The streamlining of registration processes cannot be left to junior staff.

Hospital directors have to be keeping an eye on what is happening on the ground, and intervene, if necessary, to improve the flow.

Fifthly, stop the bullying immediately. The new DG should allow whistleblowers to send emails anonymously to enable investigators to immediately get to the root of the problem. Stop the culture of witch-hunting. Be kind to the medical frontliners, because they are the ones treating us.

Sixthly, if need be, the DG has to be very firm with the so-called little Napoleons within the ministry. The culture within the ministry has become toxic over the years, and there is no leader daring enough to rock the boat.

With support from the new minister and the majority of us, we shall prevail against these bad apples.

Finally, I would appreciate if you could make a visit to the health clinic at Taman Ehsan, Selangor, where I discovered the stairs were built over 10 years ago, which failed to comply with the specifications stated in the Selangor Uniform Building Bylaws 1984 (UBBL ’84).

The tread width of each step is only 9 inches, but the building was approved and handed over to the Ministry of Health despite failing to comply with the UBBL specification (tread width has to be a minimum of 10 inches).

The stairs are a workplace hazard to both medical personnel and patients, especially senior citizens and pregnant women. I dread to think what would happen if there a fire should break out.

Based on my own research, the MOH does not have to demolish the three stairs, but simply extend the tread width in order to comply with the National UBBL 1984 Bylaw 106 (dimensions of staircases), which says that a wider tread width should not be less than 11 inches.

Meanwhile, the Selangor State Government has to revise its own uniform building bylaws.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

You may also like