letter to gov~

December 3, 2010

as i was browsing another blog, i found an article on why most of the doctors in Malaysia preferred to work in other countries.. so actually it turn out that the doctors in Malaysia will never be enough due to some circumstances..

the doctor who had spent his life for nearly a decade in singapore stated that, "Why be a slave in your own country, when you are a king in another?" 

well indeed that the payment to doctors are very high in other country..but actually most of them left not because of the paycheck but because of Medical System that has been rotting in ignorance and politic-based stupidity that Malaysian has been well-known for (in the medical field)..

you know what he meant by that?
well, here's his story..

I have served the system for nearly 2 decades of my career, waiting for it to improve for so long, and only finding myself in despair, quitting with a 24-hour notice and serving abroad. The system is, in my opinion, keeping doctors, since the beginning of their career as House Officers to the end of it, in the lowermost priority. When I was working there, doctors are so ill-treated, while the nurses and the medical assistants are overpowering us.
I still remember the days when I was doing seeing patients and rounds as an MO, while the staff nurses would mind their own business, having breakfast in the pantry, or having gossip chats at their own leisure. My House Officers would then have to do merely all the labour-work, up to the extent of setting intravenous drips, and serving medications. If I am to expect the nurses, my patients would have been dead, or the work would have been too slowly or incompletely done.
When I was a House Officer, I had to run down 4-5 floors just to review a blood investigation of a dying dengue patient. The ward staff would either be nowhere around, or will say that he is busy (busier than the doctor?) or the answer I got at that time:
"Doktor nak cepat, doktor turun sendirilah, gaji doktor lagi banyak dari saya"
Even when I was a Specialist, the staff nurses had to be called again and again just to make sure the management plan for the patient would be done. I was already used to answers from them:
“I’m busy with something else"
“My shift is already over"
...it was routine for me.
The Medical Assistants were worse. They would hide behind their so-called boss, the Head of Medical Assistant. They feel hiding behind him would make them not under our jurisdiction, that we have no power to instruct them in managing the patient, that they have power to manage own their own. I've seen them giving medications not as we prescribed, performing procedures without our knowledge, as if they are the actual "Doctors". They are in their own world, and we have to do their job, taking blood, labelling samples, and even cleaning gadgets from the procedures that we have done.
Oh, but the ministry loves this group. They even let them run a clinic now, instead of upgrading the clinics already run by doctors. The government feels that the MAs are very important and should never be ill-treated by those big bad doctors. One time when I was a District Hospital Medical Officer, I was conducting a delivery of a baby. An MA insisted that I remove my car which was block-parking his car. I answered through the phone that I was busy.
He came to the labor room and yelled "Semua orang pun sibuk jugak, macamlah doktor seorang yang sibuk!”
It is insulting that an MA or a staff nurse claims that they are BUSY, as busy as a doctor? As a Malaysian Doctor, I have even worked for 72 hours straight. I have experienced working until my 6 month old daughter did not recognize me at the end of the week.
Is that how busy they are? I am very sure that they are so busy, that they can only spend 2 hours at the nearby Mamak stall, or can only leave at 5:10 PM instead of 5, or can only have 1 hour of lunch.
The management staffs are worse. I have to beg and plead so that I can get my on-call claims, of RM25 per 48 hours of work. While sitting in an air-conditioned office, they will at their own leisure, process my call claims so that I will receive them by the next decade.
The state health or Hospital Director would just give another inspirational talk (of bollocks) on team effort and beauty of teamwork.
That is how Malaysian doctors are treated in the government sector: without respect, without dignity and without significance..

and the doctors hardly complaint because after busy doing hard-labouring day of course they just want to go home and spend time with their family.. people hardly notice this but for myself, i actually went to hospital a lot since i was a kid..and its true that if you are a House Officer you'll get scolded by most people in the hospital and got the worst treatment and when you are a Medical officer you still have to be the one scolded by the specialist doctors.even when you are high enough you will not get a better treatment because of political surroundings in a hospital causing you to do most work by yourself.. 

here is the statement from malaysian doctor who works in UK..
"The pay is more, and we get the respect we deserve"
another works in Brunei..
“Here the staff nurses respect Malaysian doctors, and they are very co-operative" (He ended up marrying one)
A few are consultants in Singapore (working with me):
"Here we are treated well, we spearhead the management, and every else do their work to the best of their capabilities".
A few even enjoys working in Indonesia..
“The work-load is horrible since there are a lot of patients, but we are well respected by every hospital personnel" (They have migrated there for nearly a decade)
the doctors only want some respect and treatment that they deserved..i can understood why the moved to another country.. its hard enough to complete 6-7 years of study but when we return to our homeland we get ill-treated.. 

anyway, for the government i think if they are concern of medical students, they should at least try to improve the sociopolitical surrounding in the malaysian hospital first.. well, they may not need to worry more of us coming in a flood because we are highly needed professionals in the world.. we don't ask for more.. 

i don't think Malaysia will ever have enough doctors if the situation doesn't change yet..if you don't like us don't worry people another part of the world will really appreciate our presence.. 

i, myself really want to spend my entire life working in Malaysia but if these are the way they treated us even from the beginning.. i don't have any obligation to continue working for them..  i really hoped that the government will change the system and providing more warm political environment for us to work in..

that's all for now.. see ya~

p/s : will there be an improvement if another gov take charge? hmm~


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a story of an old woman and the prophet Muhammad SAW~