KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 – Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik is urging the Ministry of Health (MOH) to institute a comprehensive approach to address the ongoing issue of bullying faced by housemen within the health care system.
The PKR lawmaker, who is former deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture, said “it is time” the health ministry establish a roadmap that not only acknowledges the gravity of the problem but also outlines concrete steps to combat it.
“The issue of bullying faced by new doctors and housemen has been ongoing. It is time to establish a roadmap to address this problem. This needs to be followed by a commitment from all hospital administrators, with improvement targets set as key performance indicators (KPIs) for hospital administrators.
“Regular third-party monitoring should also be carried out to measure the organisational climate in all hospitals,” Muhammad Bakhtiar said during his debate on the 2024 Budget yesterday.
A poll conducted by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) last month among more than 700 government and private doctors, two-thirds of whom were medical officers, showed that between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of respondents across all states reported experiencing some form of bullying.
Prior to MMA’s survey, a separate survey by CodeBlue conducted last January among more than 1,600 government health care workers found 41 per cent bullying and 6 per cent sexual harassment prevalence among house officers.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa has since pledged to combat the bullying of health care workers and has asked MOH staff to report bullying incidents to the ministry’s MyHelp channel.
However, CodeBlue reported recently that a U29 assistant environmental health officer (PPKP) was allegedly summoned for filing an internal complaint via the MOH’s SISPAA channel against workplace bullying from superiors.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Bakhtiar also said that the MOH should conduct stress testing to determine the stability of the health care system. Stress testing typically involves testing beyond normal operational capacity, usually up to the breaking point, to see the results.
“In determining the allocation for the MOH, it is necessary for the ministry to conduct stress testing on our health care system to assess our ability to face various crisis scenarios in the future.
“Once this stress test is conducted, I would like to know about the weaknesses that have been identified and how allocations in the 2024 Budget will address these weaknesses,” said the Balik Pulau MP.
A stress test also involves spike stress testing to measure the health care system’s ability to withstand a worst-case scenario.
Muhammad Bakhtiar said in addition to spike stress testing, training and simulation with the industry, as well as local authorities and agencies such as the fire department, Civil Defence Force, the Royal Malaysia Police, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) should be conducted.