Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Health Task Force to deal with complaints


The Health Ministry has set up a Task Force To Enhance Performance as part of efforts to reduce public complaints, its Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said yesterday. He said the Task Force chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry, Datuk Ahmad Kabit, will evaluate the level of corporate values among staff involving the three main elements of caring, professionalism and teamwork. “These three main values need to be instilled and implemented. It is not enough to understand them but they also need to be practised with commitment. “With these values in place, I am confident that complaints can be reduced,” Liow told reporters after a working-visit to the Hospital Sandakan Duchess of Kent Hospital here. He said the Task Force would carry out various activities and campaigns to ensure all Health Ministry staff understand and implement these values. According to him, the Task Force members who had met twice already would also launch an effective - communication campaign soon. Earlier in his speech, Liow said he was unhappy that the shortcomings in the implementation of the three values had led to complaints. He said based on complaints received last year, feelings of dissatisfaction, lack of courtesy and misunderstanding were high on the list. During the visit, Liow also announced an allocation of RM4 million for the hospital to repair facilities. He said the allocation was to enhance facilities at the old wards. Liow also has given an assurance that his Ministry would give top priority to solving the shortage of doctors, nurses and specialists at the Duchess of Kent Hospital. Another five beds would be added to its CICU/CCUC departments soon. To encourage Malaysian doctors currently working overseas to come back to serve the country, the Government now requires doctors to work in the general hospitals only for three years instead of five years previously, according to him. “Every year, 400 doctors leave us, but we are doing our best to retain them by introducing new incentives such as providing doctors with housemaids,” he said, adding the Government had approved an additional RM22 billion for his Ministry. Liow said the death rate for breast cancer patients, who make up 33 percent of cancer patients nationwide, is very high because either the patients came to the hospital late or their conditions were identified at a late stage. “Most of the non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, high- blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease can be avoided, and in fact polio has been completely wiped out in Malaysia,” he said. “As the Health Minister, I want my staff to be fully committed with a caring heart and right attitude to turn the hospital into a better place,” he added. Liow also said problems such as shortage of water tanks and issuance of occupancy of certificate for some of the new buildings attached to the existing hospital would be taken care of by Sandakan Municipal Council President Yeo Boon Hai.

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