Malaysia wants long-term solution for overworked doctors
The Health Ministry of Malaysia wants to set up a system to analyse the working patterns of medical officers (MOs), housemen and specialists while on call, to find long-term solutions to protect their welfare and safety.
Minister S. Subramaniam said there were guidelines to ensure on-call medical staff were not overworked but it would be helpful to have a system as more and more doctors are entering public service.
“For now, we have given hospitals discretionary power to allow their heads of departments to give time-off to the MOs and housemen on duty,” he said. Housemen are to work no more than 65 to 75 hours per week and not more than 16 hours a day, as well as a mandatory one day off per week,” he replied to a question by Nik Abduh Nik Aziz (PAS-Pasir Mas).
“For the training of housemen, we must also ensure they get a chance to gain enough experience during their housemanship.If we shorten their period of work, we fear that they may be affected in terms of their experience and opportunities to treat different diseases.There are times the MOs and housemen have to work long hours, but the ministry has taken steps to ensure they are not overworked, one of which involves having sufficient facilities in the hospital grounds for them to rest,” he said.
To another question from Datuk Aaron Ago Anak Dagang (BN-Kanowit), Dr Subramaniam said more than 24 million people sought treatment in government hospitals in the first eight months of this year.
He said 24.59 million people got treatment and from that, 3.21% or 790,655 were foreigners.Last year, a total of 35.2 million patients sought treatment at government hospitals, and from that, 1.37 million or 3.89% were foreigners.
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