The Worst Timetable Ever At Bentong Hospital’s Emergency Department — Frustrated Staff

A medical officer in Pahang highlights the “worst timetable ever” at Bentong Hospital’s emergency department, where doctors still have to do oncall-postcall-PM shift. “Imagine the busiest department in a hospital, having to work endlessly like a machine.”

Remember the last post mentioning about an “overworked and underpaid MO (medical officer)” at Bentong Hospital in Pahang? Congratulations for the changes done by the previous boss after the article came out, but it was too good to be true.

Action was taken, but it lasted only for a month.

They claimed after the meeting there shouldn’t be any more postcall-PM shift on the same day. But then, the team leader made the worst timetable ever, without granting anyone’s requests at all. 

The worst part — still have to do oncall-postcall-PM shift (again) on the day you’re supposed to have postcall or oncall-oncall-oncall shift for two or three days straight. Even worse, isn’t it? 

You expect people to work like a robot, without giving them their entitled one off day and one postcall per week. 

We heard some other district hospitals also have a shortage of MOs in their emergency department, but their head of department made a wise decision by giving compulsory oncall-oncall-postcall-off per week (in four consecutive days). 

This is because they know that the department needs well-rested MOs to function at its best to cope with the amount of work and to reduce medical errors. 

Even though there has been a new intake of MOs at Bentong Hospital, they are still forcing MOs in the emergency department to work like crazy. Some of them resigned because they could not stand the workload and the poorly managed timetable. 

Imagine the busiest department in a hospital, having to work endlessly like a machine. Imagine the amount of medicolegal issues that you’ll have to encounter if you work with a high amount of stress, unable to focus due to lack of sleep and rest. 

You have to work without any off day. 

Imagine not getting any off day in a week, such a thing called “replacement day off”. Work straight PM shift for five days. Work straight five to six days of AM/ PM shift without any oncall-postcall-off. 

Crazy, isn’t it? To work straight per week without any rest. 

No matter how much you brag about it to the team leader, nothing has changed. The answer is always, “Oh I will try to sort it back, Oh, will see how”. 

What kind of stupidity is it to work for more than 21 hours in a day? Because of the crappiest timetable ever made. Oh yeah, on top of that, they force people to do double shifts for RM130 on weekdays and RM140 on weekends despite the craziest timetable. 

Even some of the MOs from other departments are also getting scolded for doing extra locum because they claim “too much”, they say. But the sad truth is, only the same people are willing to do locum to cover the busiest Green Zone. 

For the sake of patients, the locum doctor will reduce the amount of waiting time for the patient to see the doctor. 

Imagine, how can a doctor survive here? Everyone is asking to be transferred to another department or hospital. Some even choose to resign because they are tired of being “used” in this department. 

Yes, a doctor should be devoted to the patient, but bear in mind that doctors also have parents, family, friends, and even their own sweet time to care for. 

Doctors are humans, after all. 

The author is a medical officer working at a government hospital in Pahang. CodeBlue is providing anonymity to the author as 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.

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