PETALING JAYA: Leaky ceilings, power cuts and disruptions in water supply are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues plaguing public healthcare facilities in Malaysia, according to a survey of doctors conducted from June to November.
The results of the survey published by CodeBlue, an editorially independent programme of think tank Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy, showed that 38% of doctors rate the overall maintenance of their public health facility as “poor” or “really terrible”.
The survey, conducted among 337 doctors from government hospitals and clinics in the Doctors’ Only Bulletin Boards Facebook group, also identified regular electricity and water supply interruptions as among the main infrastructure problems at these centres.
More than half of the respondents (51.3%) reported electricity supply interruptions at their medical facilities at least once a year, with 10% complaining of monthly power cuts and another 10% claiming monthly water cuts.
One doctor complained that a hospital in Penang suffers water cuts every month while another claimed that a hospital in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, has “virtually no water every day”.
Other doctors said some hospitals in Johor and Perak suffered power and water cuts up to six times a year.
Four facilities in Sabah and three in Sarawak also reportedly experience water and electricity supply disruptions between one and six times annually.
In terms of overall maintenance, about 44% of the survey’s respondents gave a “fair” rating. Only about 18% rated the conditions of their facility as “good” or “excellent”.
Around 60% of the problems cited in public health facilities were related to old and failing equipment such as operating tools or anaesthetic machines, as well as infrastructure issues like cracked walls, broken lights or collapsing ceilings.
The survey also claimed that 80% of doctors said their issues remained unresolved even after two years of filing their complaints.