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  • Writer's pictureVincent Chuah

A falling healthcare system

#poor me #tired me

As we step into 2024, it's disheartening to observe the state of our healthcare system heading in the opposite direction.

Malaysia is a good country with almost freely available healthcare services provided by our dear government /KKM. In order to enjoy this luxury service, a huge amount of money needs to be channeled into the healthcare service.

To illustrate, simple procedures like dressing an open wound or seeking consultation for an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) are available at Klinik Kesihatan for RM 1, while private clinics charge upwards of RM 60 for the same service.

Despite the government's significant expenditure on healthcare, why does my hospital suffer from a lack of funds? The facilities in government hospitals, from beds to monitoring systems such as blood pressure machines and SpO2 monitors, are subpar. The hospital's computer systems lag, and printers consistently face issues. Even doctors have to invest their own money into their on-call rooms. Additionally, healthcare workers receive a meager on-call claim of RM 200 for 15 hours, and a year-end bonus of RM 500 for government servants while other companies offer bonuses of 1-2 months.

This isn't a mere complaint but an acknowledgment of the unfair treatment and inadequate welfare healthcare workers face. Despite their hard work, they are subjected to unjust conditions.

Consequently, the younger generation prefers not to remain in government hospitals. Many opt to leave KKM after their compulsory service and seek employment in private practices or aesthetics for a more promising future. The allure is evident – higher salaries, reduced working hours, and a significantly improved quality of life. Would you choose the government or private sector if your salary doubled or more, and your work hours decreased by at least a quarter?

Some nurses and doctors even decide to work in Singapore or Australia for better income opportunities. Moreover, the inability to choose where to serve in Malaysia (KKM decides for you) drives some to resign.

This results in an increased workload for those remaining in KKM, leading to overburdened healthcare workers.

Why work in KKM?

- Poor welfare/salary (double or more in the private sector, better bonuses, and more family time)

- Inferior facilities

- Inadequate support

- Lack of transparency in the promotion system

- Being assigned to any location in Malaysia (from Johor to Sabah/Sarawak), without your say

- Lastly, even as a government servant, don't assume the government covers all medical expenses if you fall ill (esp those new chemotherapy drug/ class II ward/ surgery instruments)

Given these circumstances, would you still aspire to become a doctor in Malaysia? It's worth a second thought.

Be positive. Life is fantasy!

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