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Government Doctor Shares The Sad Reality Of Malaysian Hospitals



Government Doctor Shares The Sad Reality Of Malaysian Hospitals - WORLD OF BUZZ
Source: The Star
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Many of us don’t realise how hard doctors work unless we personally know someone in the profession. It gets even harder if basic resources and facilities aren’t readily available or properly maintained.

A Malaysian doctor working in the government who chose to remain anonymous recently reached out to WORLD OF BUZZ to share his concerns over the state of local government hospitals. An excerpt from the letter, which also appeared in Malaysiakini, reads,

“This open letter is to urge the powers-that-be be proactive and prompt in taking action to rectify all these issues.”

“Hospital Sultan Aminah in Johor Bahru (HSAJB) had a few deaths from a fire in October 2016. The latest fire would be Hospital Kuala Lumpur on 17 March 2018.”

“A quick ask around reveals that the intensive care unit in HSAJB had only one door in and out to that area, and did not even have a proper fire escape.”

Government Doctor Shares The Sad Reality Of Malaysian Hospitals - WORLD OF BUZZ 2

For illustration purposes only | Source:

“However, the issue was quickly covered up and no disciplinary action was taken to the administrators of the hospital. Lives were lost to the fire that day – has anyone publicly responded, apologized and compensated to the relatives involved?”

The doctor went on to point out that this is not the only case, adding that hospitals in East Malaysia have also had their fair share of poorly maintained facilities.

“Hospital Sandakan in Sabah has faced a year-long (or more) problem with its operating theatre, with multiple repairs being done.”

“Hospital Lahad Datu has a maternal operating theatre that has not been used since being built about 15 years ago as a result of poor administration and governance.”

Government Doctor Shares The Sad Reality Of Malaysian Hospitals - WORLD OF BUZZ 4

For illustration purposes only | Source: Malaysia Insights

“Spoilt elevators have forced a husband to carry his pregnant wife up two flights of stairs for a Caesarean operation (C-section).”

“Meanwhile, in the main tertiary hospital of Sabah, the usual “no budget” and financial issues are a main hurdle to the healthcare services in Hospital Queen Elizabeth 1 and 2, and Hospital Likas. Certain antibiotics and anaesthetic drugs have run out, forcing doctors to choose other alternative drugs.”

“Infrastructure breakdown is also not foreign to this facility and last year saw two operating theatre lights fall from the ceiling in Hospital Queen Elizabeth I and Hospital Likas respectively. The lights injured healthcare staff but fortunately did not hit the patient.”

Government Doctor Shares The Sad Reality Of Malaysian Hospitals - WORLD OF BUZZ 1

For illustration purposes only | Source:

The government doctor ended his letter by calling for action, saying,

“This letter is a wake up call to those in power. Drastic action is needed with regards to hospital maintenance and administration. Forget the new fangled programs, strategies and what not if simple things like fixing a lamp can’t even be done! Four months down the road, and there is no sign of a new operating theatre lamp in Hospital Likas.”

“Excuses and lip service like “we are working on it” or “we are waiting for approval/budget” should be thrown out the window. If that falling light had injured the relative of a politician or VIP, you can be sure that it would have been changed immediately.”

“This is only the tip of the iceberg. I challenge the ministry to conduct a transparent investigation of all the healthcare facilities in the country, publicly reveal the shortcomings, apologize for failing Malaysians and resolve to do something about this. It has gone too far and must be stopped.”

Government Doctor Shares The Sad Reality Of Malaysian Hospitals - WORLD OF BUZZ 5

For illustration purposes only | Source: The Star

It appears this sentiment is shared among other local government doctors as well. Speaking to WORLD OF BUZZ, a specialist working at a local government hospital who also chose to remain anonymous shared his thoughts on the state of Malaysian government hospitals, saying,

“There’s almost no budget and it makes our work even tougher.”

Meanwhile, the incident involving the falling lights and spoilt elevators were later confirmed by Sabah’s department of health (JKN Sabah). In a statement sent to Malaysiakini, they said,

“The Sabah Women and Children’s Hospital (Likas) has four general operation theatres and two maternity operation theatres that are all fully-functional.”

“On the 1st of November 2017, one of the lights in one of the operation theatres malfunctioned and fell from the ceiling, causing light injuries to one of the hospital’s staff. The light is expected to be fixed and replaced sometime this year.”

“Another incident happened in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 19th December 2017, where a light also fell from the ceiling in an operation theatre. This also caused light injuries to one of the hospital’s staff.”

“This incident happened because of a loose screw. The hospital’s concession company then examined all the lights in the operation theatres to ensure that this incident would not happen again.”

They added that on the 12th of October 2016, one of the lifts in Hospital Lahad Datu suddenly went out of service. During that time, a patient who needed an emergency C-section, had to be carried upstairs by hospital staff and her husband to the operation theatre.

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Source: MyNewsHub

Their statement reads,

“The lift was immediately fixed after that and resumed operations within an hour. This was definitely a difficult situation, but the important thing is that the hospital’s staff did their best to carry out their duties for the safety of the patient.”

As for the shortages of certain drugs, JKN Sabah clarified by stating,

“Currently, there are no issues involving medications in Sabah. This issue happened earlier this year (January to February), and was due to the failure of the suppliers, who did not supply the medicine to these medical centres.”

“Many of these accusations are old issues that have already been resolved at the hospital levels, as well as at the JKN Sabah level.”

“We hope that this information was not spread by an irresponsible party with the intention of diminishing the efforts of the Ministry of Health and JKM Sabah.”

What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know in the comments below!


Also read: More Medical Specialists in Malaysia Are Resigning From Government Hospitals


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