Ministry of Health sets up independent task force to improve work culture, following reports of intimidation and death of Penang domestic worker | Malaysia

Apart from the death in Penang, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today noted that there have also been reports and complaints of incidents of bullying and mental stress issues faced not only by trainee doctors, but also health service personnel in the performance of their duties. — photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 May – The Ministry of Health (MoH) today announced the formal formation of the Independent Working Culture Improvement Task Force in Healthcare (HWCITF) to look into issues such as the death of a trainee doctor at Penang Hospital, amid reports of incidents of bullying and mental stress faced by healthcare staff.

Apart from the death in Penang, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today noted that there have also been reports and complaints of incidents of bullying and mental stress issues faced not only by trainee doctors, but also health service personnel in the performance of their duties.

He then indicated that this newly formed independent working group would therefore cover the aspects of the work culture and the management of the nursing staff in order to ensure the delivery of a quality and professional service.

“I would like to emphasize that the Ministry of Health Malaysia is very committed to its efforts to improve the working environment for health service personnel in general and to eliminate the toxic work culture in the health establishments of the Ministry of Health. Health,” Khairy said in the statement announcing the training. and panel members of this new working group.

“I also recognize that this effort would need some time to bear fruit, but I want to emphasize that a conducive and harmonious work environment begins with respect, support and help from our colleagues. Now is not the time to argue, now is not the time to point fingers.

Noting that healthcare workers had faced the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic together and with the country now in the transition to the endemic phase thanks to their commitment and close cooperation, Khairy stressed that each of the health personnel had managed to create an important story together. He paid tribute to all, including nurses, trainee doctors or housekeepers, paramedics, doctors, specialists or those who had planned the pandemic management plan.

With more than 270,000 staff in the Ministry of Health, Khairy highlighted their primary responsibility to ensure the safety of all patients treated and the delivery of high quality health services to Malaysians.

For this new working group which will be led by the former Secretary General of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Datuk Siti Hamisah Tapsir and which will have eight experts among its members, Khairy said that he would present his conclusions to him in two months. today.

What the working group will do

Earlier in his statement, Khairy said that he, as Minister of Health, assessed and selected the members of the HWCITF, and said its purpose and role would cover six areas.

The first would be to analyze and assess the work culture and management of health service staff in general and trainee doctors in particular, which would include workload and working hours, complaint channels, leadership, mentoring and training, performance appraisal, service delivery and career opportunities.

This would also include analyzing information and findings from the investigation into the incident of the trainee doctor’s death at Penang Hospital.

The working group would also gain insight into the work culture and human resource management process for health services in general and trainee physicians in particular, with briefings and engagement sessions to be held with relevant divisions of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Health staff, agencies, non-governmental organizations and any individual as needed.

Khairy said the HWCITF would also propose the appointment of related consultants to the Ministry of Health to support the functions of the task force if needed; conduct related studies and analyses; and to prepare evaluation reports and proposals for the improvement of the work culture and the management of human resources — for the health services in general and for the trainee doctors in particular — to be presented to the Minister of Health within two months of the date of the establishment of the working group (today).

Working group members

Siti Hamisah, who will chair the task force, has 33 years of experience as a public servant, including serving as Chief Executive of Higher Education from 2017 to 2019 and is currently Vice Chancellor of UCSI University.

The eight members would be professionals and experts in their own fields, including Datuk Hamidah Naziadin who has 31 years of experience in the field of human resources and who had in the past been director of human resources of CIMB group and also former CEO of Yayasan. CIMB manages the bank’s corporate social responsibility program.

Hamidah is also a board member of the National Sports Council and someone who is active in mentoring and training young people and women in various fields.

The second member is Professor Dr Zabidi AM Hussin, a pediatrician specializing in pediatric neurology and medical education, and who is currently also Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University and Professor of Paediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the International Medical University, as well as the Chairman of the Malaysian Medical Council Sub-Committee on Trainee Doctors or Housekeepers.

Other members include Barrister Mohamed Ridza Mohamed Abdulla and Associate Professor Dr Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, a consultant psychiatrist and smoking cessation specialist in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

The task force also includes the Managing Director of IMU Healthcare, Dr Chong Su-Lin, who is both a UK medical graduate and holds an MBA from the London School of Business, with his experience in both the medical and management fields, including previous roles. as CEO of Sunway Medical Center, CEO of Prince Court Medical Center and Executive Director of the Beacon International Specialist Center.

Manvir Victor, who is an activist and representative of the World Health Organization as a global patient advocate, is also part of the task force, with his declared expertise in communication and media, security patients, brand development, crisis management and reputation.

In addition to a representative from the Department of Public Services, the task force will also include Sivaramakrishnan Balasubramanian who is said to have expertise in organizing and designing work to address structural issues, succession planning and career paths, potential for construction and strategic workforce planning.

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