Monday, July 4, 2022

Specialist doctors named on housemen bullying list, says Khairy

He says all five doctors named are still on duty although investigations are being carried out.

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The list of doctors allegedly involved in bullying trainee doctors or housemen at Penang Hospital (HPP) received by the health ministry also includes specialist doctors, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

Speaking to reporters after officiating the International Nurses’ Day 2022 event in Putrajaya, he said the ministry’s Integrity Unit had been instructed to conduct further investigations into the allegations of bullying at the hospital, while an independent special task force would also be set up.

Khairy said the members of the special task force, along with other details, will be announced tomorrow, adding that he would not chair the special task force.

Yesterday, Penang Agrotechnology and Food Safety, Rural Development, and Health Committee chairman Dr Norlela Ariffin submitted the names of five doctors allegedly involved in bullying housemen to the health ministry.

Asked whether the five doctors had suspended, Khairy said all of them were still on duty as usual.

“We can’t simply transfer them elsewhere, we have to establish first what took place… some names (in the list) are specialist doctors. So transferring them will not be easy. For now, everyone is working as usual, but the investigations continue,” he said.

He added that the investigations were expected to take several weeks.

“This involves serious allegations such as bullying and also an unprofessional work culture. The investigations will involve an interview session with the complainant and the accused,” he said.

On April 17, a 25-year-old male trainee doctor was found dead. He was believed to have fallen from his residential unit at a building near HPP.

Penang Health Department director Dr Maarof Sudin confirmed that the houseman was a graduate medical officer who had reported for work at HPP on April 4. He said his team would give its full cooperation to the police in the investigation.

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