Former HRPB Director Recalls Frequently Signing Junior Doctors’ Resignation Letters

Ex-HRPB director Dr Megat Iskandar recalls often signing junior MOs’ resignation letters, saying this is happening in hospitals nationwide. “If not resolved immediately, we will return to the 90s when there was a shortage of doctors in the government sector.”

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Former Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (HRPB) director Dr Megat Iskandar Megat Abdul Hamid has urged the government to resolve a dire doctors’ shortage in the public health service.

Dr Megat Iskandar – who retired last April 12 after serving six years at the Ipoh general hospital since 2018 – was commenting on a letter written by a specialist doctor at Ampang Hospital to CodeBlue, who highlighted mass resignations of medical officers at the tertiary hospital in Selangor that they attributed to a dire manpower shortage.

“When I was HRPB director before my retirement, I often signed junior MOs’ resignation letters,” Dr Megat Iskandar said in a comment yesterday on CodeBlue’s Facebook post of the article.

“This is happening in whichever hospital in Malaysia. If this is not resolved immediately, we will return to the 90s when there was a shortage of doctors in the government sector.”

Dr Megat Iskandar’s Facebook comment received over 100 “likes”. The Ampang Hospital specialist’s letter has been shared widely on social media.

Hartal Doktor Kontrak (HDK) pointed out that it had predicted the situation, as described by the Ampang Hospital specialist, and informed the public about it three years ago.

“But no one batted an eye. Instead the juniors are being told that they are weak, only know how to whine, strawberries etc. Now we pay the price for their ignorance,” HDK posted on Facebook.

In response to another issue – a notice reportedly put up by Kulim Hospital telling patients to be prepared to wait five hours to see a doctor due to a shortage of doctors – the Kedah state health department said manpower shortages would be “handled as best as possible” to prevent impacting health service delivery.

“The division of human resource labour at the Ministry of Health (MOH) among specialists and medical officers across all MOH hospitals is in line with current workloads,” said Kedah state health deputy director (public health) Dr Norizan Ahmad.

The Selangor state health department or MOH Putrajaya have yet to issue a response to the Ampang Hospital specialist’s letter published by CodeBlue.

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