Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 30, 2006

Working for 34 hours

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:09 am

NST: MY sister has just completed her degree in medicine overseas and should be returning to serve as a house officer in any hospital in Malaysia.
To my surprise, her seniors in university, who are currently serving house officers and medical officers in Malaysia, are discouraging her and her classmates from returning to practise in Malaysia.
Their main reasons are that house officers are often shouted at and humiliated in front of others, including patients and fellow colleagues.
There are also the long working hours.

On days that a house officer or medical officer is “on call”, he/she is subjected to the following working hours:
• Monday: 7.30am to 5pm (normal working hours);
• (On call) 5pm to 7.30am the following day;
• Tuesday: 7.30am to 5pm (normal working hours).
This means that a house officer/medical officer who goes to work on Monday starts his/her work at 7.30am and it only ends at 5pm the following day.

This means that he has to work 34 hours before he or she can go home.
The fact that such working hours have long been practised is not a justification and not a valid excuse.
The Health Ministry needs to make changes to improve the working environment of doctors in hospitals in Malaysia.
The current practice and working environment are clearly discouraging doctors from returning to Malaysia to work. In the long term, this will cause a brain drain in the medical profession.

G.K. Petaling Jaya

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