News portal chief claims Health Ministry hunting survey respondents

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The Health Ministry is allegedly on a “witch hunt” for healthcare workers who participated in a survey conducted by health news website Codeblue.

Codeblue editor-in-chief Boo Su-Lyn took to Twitter to urge Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa and director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to cease attempts of uncovering the respondents’ identity.

“Dear minister, can you please put an end to the witch hunt against the healthcare workers who spoke to CodeBlue and participated in our survey?

Twitter

“They’re getting worried because of increasingly active investigations to uncover their identity. Thank you.”

Boo said that while CodeBlue’s interviews omitted respondents’ names, their stories contained some personal details that are now being used to narrow the purported investigations.

She added healthcare workers were being questioned on whether they had taken part in CodeBlue’s survey.

“The witch hunt is increasingly spread out across states, according to a healthcare worker, including from central Health Ministry.

“CodeBlue’s survey had respondents from every state and the Federal Territories,” she added.

Earlier this week, Codeblue published an online poll they conducted among government healthcare workers in Malaysia.

The website also published several interviews of the respondents, narrating their experience on the job.

The respondents, which included both contract and permanent staff, including senior doctors and a small representation of pharmacists, dentists, medical assistants, nurses, and allied healthcare workers, expressed widespread dissatisfaction and anger at the current situation of the public health system.

An overwhelming 95 percent of the total 1,652 respondents felt that the country’s public healthcare system was in “crisis” while 73 percent of respondents were considering quitting the system altogether.

The survey also revealed that 52 percent of respondents said they would participate in a strike if one was organised.

A similar number of respondents – 53 percent – also said they were “furious” at the current condition of the public health system – on a scale of zero to four, with zero being “not angry” and four being “furious”.

About 83 percent said they do not feel the government is being serious about solving the issues in the healthcare system.

The Health Ministry indicated to Malaysiakini on Jan 30 that it would respond to the survey but no statement has been issued thus far.

Malaysiakini has reached out to Zaliha regarding Boo’s allegations. – Malaysiakini