I-Medik | Press Statement
9 April 2020
I-Medik would like to express our disagreement and regretted the statement made by Dato Dr Musa Nordin in which the Ministry of Health (MOH) Director of General (DG), Dato Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah had been unjustly and unfoundedly accused of not adequately protecting the health care workers (HCW).
In truth, shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is a global problem. We are well aware of how health services in much developed countries like United Kingdom (UK), France and Italy also suffer PPE shortages resorting in death of their doctors and nurses. UK for example reported 8 deaths among their HCW, France 8 and Italy 96. Last month, Spain recorded as many as 14% of their medical professionals were infected with COVID19.
This shortage was made worse by selfish act of a certain country. We learned how White House even tried to force 3M company to export masks to the USA from its hub in Singapore, when the PPE was meant to other countries.
Therefore, for the good KPJ hospital paediatrician to blame DG of MOH and his team for these problems was simply outrageous.
In spite of blaming and finger pointing, we as an NGO are grateful that the Ministry of Health has quickly allowed help offered by us and many others in supplying the PPE to the frontliners.
We are of the opinion that the MOH has taken great measure and therefore the numbers of our HCW reported to be infected at work stands 20% out of 181. None of these staff however worked in ICU or COVID ward but instead, they contracted the viruses whist performing procedures on patients that hid the fact of their travel or contact history.
The remaining 80% of HCW with positive COVID19 contracted the disease from the community as they attended a wedding. 2 deaths involving HCW were not work related but were with past history of travelling to Indonesia and Turkey.
We are facing a pandemic of unprecedented scale and therefore the way forward is for everyone to have empathy and avoid demoralising the frontliners by rolling the blaming game. As PPE donation drive is appreciated, in this diffciult time of a worldwide pandemic, innovative ideas to overcome PPE shortages like Coronavirus Mobile Test Unit (COMBAT) initiative that segregate patient from HCW during swab sampling is imperative and very much welcomed.
With the burden of the whole nation shouldered by him, I-Medik implores that the DG is spared from baseless accusations and unnecessary strikes, in order to preserve unity for the whole Malaysians to face our way forward.
Professor Dr Azmi Md Nor
Ikatan Pengamal Perubatan dan Kesihatan Muslim Malaysia (I-Medik)