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Monday, December 28, 2020

Cuepacs: Act immediately on MMA survey on bullying among medical staff

 Cuepacs has urged the Health Ministry to investigate bullying claims among medical staff. - NSTP/File pic/ for illustration purposes only.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) has urged the Health Ministry to investigate bullying claims among medical staff following a recent survey report by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

Its president Adnan Mat said the ministry needed to prepare a data-based report on the culture of bullying among doctors and healthcare staff to prevent recurrence and curb such negative practices altogether.

This, he said, should encompass the number of solved cases and actions taken against the perpetrators.

"Cuepacs urges the Health Ministry to view the report by MMA seriously to stop bullying (at the workplace). Methods or ways of handling bullying cases should be provided so as to give faith to the staff.

"The ministry could also prepare a framework for a platform to allow bully victims to air their problems without compromising their identity and position should they decide to lodge a report in the future," he said in a statement, adding that Cuepacs viewed the matter seriously, especially with the ever-challenging work environment for doctors.

He said sufficient psychological support services should be offered to the staff to ensure that any work-related or bullying problems would not affect their work quality as this would, in turn, affect services provided to patients.

The ministry must also train staff and give emphasis on the negative impact of the bullying culture among the supervisors, said Adnan.

"Each supervisor must have empathy towards trainee doctors or any staff under their charge and not act on emotions."

Adnan also suggested that the Health Ministry cooperate with Cuepacs and MMA to curb the problem as this culture could become a virus that would damage values, ethics and morale of the staff.

"It is time for the government and Health Ministry to take stern action in addressing the problem."

Adnan said if bullying was left unaddressed, it would become a tradition that would affect the mental state of healthcare staff, producing spiteful and emotionally unstable doctors.

It could also lead to demoralisation among trainee doctors who might decide against pursuing careers in the public sector.

"This is nothing to be proud of as it is closely linked to the quality of services provided to the people. There is no problem with supervisors or seniors giving orders for the purpose of educating the staff, but it would affect medical work when done in excess."

Berita Harian reported about 66.9 per cent of doctors in the country had admitted to being victims of bullying while serving in the public service sector, according to an online survey by MMA.

The survey involving some 1,800 respondents among trainee doctors, medical officers and young specialists showed that the most affected doctors were those aged between 26 and 35. - NST

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