IS RACISM SHOWING ITS UGLY HEAD IN OUR HOSPITALS?
Idiotic and bankrupt politicians played this to the hilt daily assisted by a vernacular racist newspaper who think they are above the law!
Until today – no action has been taken against this racist pencil pushers!
Then it was the education institutions, then the enforcement agencies, now has this racist behavior and tendency now contaminated our healthcare system?
Of course, I am aware that we had pencil doctors aplenty in the 80â€™s and early 90â€™s!
As I remember in 1983 two government medical doctor friends and I were returning from Cameron Highlands and the car we were traveling was involved in a pile up!
Both my friends had cuts and we stopped over at a public hospital and there we were introduced to the form of a pencil doctor who was checking out the injuries sustained by both doctors with her pencil not knowing that these two were medical doctors as well!
I remember them shouting at her and then taking over treating each other and leaving the premise!
I had then brought this matter in my many pungent articles to the mainstream newspapers which resulted in a war of words between the ministries hospital division director and I before the minister intervened calling a truce!
Those days – I have yet to come to a situation where there was an admission of liability, apology made, redress given and an assurance given that this will never happen again!
Only denial followed by more denials and fabrication and lies!
In today incident – for several days this patient admitted in a public hospital and recovering from an operation was silent and to visiting doctors something was amiss!
When they checked her it was found that she had developed serious bed sores and was in pain and difficulty!
Checks showed that the predominantly one racial grouping of para medical staff including nurses had avoided monitoring her!
Worst there were allegations that the staff felt that this lady was financially well off and should be instead treated at a private hospital!
As a result of this premeditated omission the patient was re-operated again as the sores were creating major problems!
Has racism now creped into our healthcare system and will it affect the health delivery system in Malaysia which has a great impartial treatment history?
Of course we can deny till the buffaloes come back but the truth is with all racist tenor highlighted by racist newspapers, media and politicians both past and present to gain political prominence instantly or attempt a â€˜political comebackâ€™ is undermining the delicate fabric of unity that was sowed and nurtured by our founding fathers and presently envisaged in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razakâ€™s 1Malaysia vision!
This is shocking to me as I come from a family of dedicated and ethical doctors and public healthcare professionals and throughout my consumer advocacy I have never witnessed the kind of racial profiling and behavior as I am monitoring these days.
I know that the quality of the healthcare delivery system like others had deteriorated due to incompetence, shoddy professionalism, racism and extreme partiality which must be contained immediately and addressed!
Those who cannot serve across the board should be sacked â€“ no two ways about it!
To me this was a fundamental disrespect of professionals’ skills and their fundamental dignities as healthcare facilities both public and private must stand for integrity.
Healthcare facilities need to stand against this undercurrent of racism that is fast contaminating our society!
If this is happening in a hospital near you please alert me!
I expect hospital administrators who have this problem to take several steps and among them:
1. Personally apologizing to patients for the indignity they suffered!
2. Officially warning staff no matter how high in the management tier that such irresponsible and despicable behavior will not be tolerated!
3. Hospital Administrators should hold regular staff meetings and form a â€˜diverse racial task force withinâ€™ to investigate similar issues and to monitor the quality of service.
4. Inviting Advocates like me to help administrators and managers handle sensitive cultural issues.
5. At the policy level I will be speaking to proactive and no nonsense tolerating Director General of Health Services Malaysia, Dr Ismail Merican (above) to initiate a hospital’s anti-discrimination policy warning hospital management hierarchy that he would hold them personally responsible if such behavior is allowed to take root and destroy the image and sacrifices of the Malaysian healthcare founding fathers!