The public and government should pay attention to the fact that there is a manpower shortage in the fight against COVID-19.
Professor Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy, president of the Malaysian Medical Association, said the manpower shortage has worsened, particularly in the Klang Valley, where the number of cases is the highest.
” Currently, the health district officers are tasked with duties of triaging, screening, assessing, contact tracing, monitoring and home-monitoring of category 1 and 2 of COVID-19 patients. Apart from this, they also manage acute and chronic non-COVID-19 cases everyday.
The ministry, according to Dr. Subramaniam, cannot expect to wait for the situation to get worse.
” The virus has spread within communities and therefore we can expect cases to continue rising in the coming weeks. At this point, the ministry should consider roping in housemen awaiting posting, medical students, nursing students and also medical assistants with basic medical knowledge and training to help on the ground, especially with contact tracing.
Besides enlisting more personnel, the group demanded that the ministry adopt a digitalised-documentation system.
” They should go paperless and digitalise paperwork as much as possible as it can greatly reduce the time staff spends on paperwork. For example, the monitoring of COVID-19 category 1 and 2 cases should be digitalised and linked to the MySejahtera mobile application.
“With proper monitoring and coordination enabled through digitalisation, more private general practitioners (GPs) would be willing to participate in its programme. Especially when more efficient usage is needed at district health offices and government clinics as the number of persons-under-investigation (PUI), persons-under-surveillance (PUS) as well as COVID-19 patients are on the rise.
But since medical personnel are overburdened, he believes pandemic management should be simplified to maintain the highest standard of care.
“For a nominal fee, the non-COVID-19 acute and chronic cases can be outsourced to private clinics or private hospitals. This will allow the ministry to focus its resources on managing COVID-19.
Since the healthcare system is on the verge of collapsing, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is urging the Health Ministry to re-strategise and bring in more people to combat the current manpower shortage issues.
Source: New Straits Times