Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, Malaysia’s Director General of Health, told reporters on May 14 that he wants to “enhance and improve” the whistleblowing system, according to an article from The Star.
Dr. Noor Hisham said to reporters that the Health Ministry wants to “enhance the whistleblowing system to improve reporting of bullying cases within the healthcare sector as well as to protect whistleblowers,” the article states. “We cannot accept bullying, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and harrasment,” he said.
Dr. Noor Hisham told reporters that the Health Ministry will cooperate with the independent taskforce that is responsible for investigating cases of junior doctors being bullied. On May 9, the New Straits Times published an article about allegations about the bullying of trainee doctors being a widespread problem. In the article, public health activist and expert Datuk Dr. Zainal Ariffin said that there is a pervasive culture of bullying in “most hospitals.” Private hospital consultant Datuk Dr. Kuljit Singh emphasized the negative impact of bullying on young professionals. Both experts provided suggestions for how to combat workplace bullying of younger doctors in hospitals.
In the article from The Star, Dr. Noor Hisham explained that the taskforce that will investigate the bullying of junior doctors is independent from the Health Ministry, and that the taskforce “will also provide guidelines and propose measures that could be taken by the ministry to tackle the problem.” He also “noted that while it takes strength and a strong spirit to undergo training to be a doctor, the bullying culture cannot be condoned.”
The Star also explains that “[o]n April 17, a 25-year-old houseman at Penang Hospital died, following a fall from his rented apartment unit in Jalan Datuk Keramat, George Town. The houseman had been posted to the hospital on April 4.” According to the article, after this occurred, “Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said a task force would be set up to investigate the case.”