MMA: “Abusive behaviour towards healthcare workers unacceptable”

THE Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has expressed its concerns over reports of abusive behaviour of the patient’s family members towards healthcare workers at the Selayang Hospital.

According to MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz, healthcare workers at the Selayang Hospital’s emergency and green zone departments are facing patients and family members who are angered by the long hours waiting to be attended to.

“MMA takes a serious view of such incidents as there should be zero tolerance towards any form of abusive behaviour especially at healthcare facilities,” Dr Azizan said in a statement today (Sept 29).

“It is deeply concerning that healthcare workers there are starting to fear for their safety when carrying out their duties under such work conditions.”

Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz (Pic credit: MMA)

A recent CodeBlue article had recently reported three Selayang Hospital medical officers, including one who quit the Health Ministry (MOH) in August, as saying that verbal abuse against doctors at their understaffed emergency department, mostly by patients’ accompanying family, is on the rise, leading to an unsafe work environment.

Dr Azizan also stated that frequent overcrowding and staff shortages, which result in long waits at the departments concerned, are major contributors to the stressful work environment.

“To prevent any further untoward incidents from occurring, we urge the MOH to urgently address the maldistribution issue of its healthcare workforce at Selayang Hospital as well as all public healthcare facilities throughout the country.

“While there should be zero tolerance towards abusive behaviour, we should also ensure that the public healthcare experience is pleasant and truly reflective of Malaysia’s reputation as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world,” she added.

She also stressed that MOH must be entirely honest about the distribution of its healthcare workers.

“The MMA would like to reiterate that the workforce distribution should be data driven and mapped according to workload at each health facility,” she noted.

“This mapping of services would also better inform the public as to the realities faced by healthcare workers on the ground with regards to staffing issues. Therefore, the public’s expectations are better managed.”

Dr. Azizan went on to assert that it is the right moment for the government to seriously consider MMA’s proposal to decongest the public healthcare system by outsourcing Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) management to the 13,000 private GPs (General Practitioner) nationwide through a public-private collaboration.

“The government’s Skim Madani is a good programme which should be expanded to include NCD management. We however hope that discussions with key stakeholders will be held from the planning stages to ensure a smooth implementation,” she added. – Sept 29, 2023


Main pic credit: CodeBlue

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