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Friday, September 29, 2023

Staff placement to hospitals must be ‘data driven’, MMA tells govt


Medical staff had been verbally abused by family members of patients at Selayang Hospital’s understaffed emergency department, health news portal CodeBlue reported. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged the health ministry to be “completely transparent” about its workforce distribution to manage people’s expectations at public hospitals.

MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said the placement of hospital staff should be “data-driven” and mapped according to the needs and workload of each government health facility.

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

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This follows a report by health news portal CodeBlue about medical staff getting verbally abused by family members of patients at Selayang Hospital’s understaffed emergency department.

Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz.

In response, Azizan urged the health ministry to immediately address the maldistribution of healthcare workforce in Selayang Hospital and any understaffed health facility in the country.

“MMA fears that many other overcrowded public healthcare facilities would face similar issues.

“While there should be zero tolerance towards abusive behaviour, we should also ensure that the public’s healthcare experience is pleasant,” she said.

To help reduce the patient load in public healthcare facilities, she suggested that Putrajaya outsource the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to the approximately 13,000 private general practitioners (GP) in the country.

She said this can be done by expanding the Madani medical scheme, which allows those from the B40 group to seek free treatment at GPs for acute primary care service, to also cover NCDs.

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Azizan also urged the government to allocate sufficient funds for the health ministry in Budget 2024 to overcome the long-standing staffing issues in the public healthcare system. - FMT

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