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Names of doctors in Penang submitted to ministry amid probe into alleged bullying culture

GEORGE TOWN (CNA) – The names of five doctors who were alleged to be bullies at the Penang General Hospital have been sent to the Health Ministry for further action, said Penang state executive councillor Norlela Ariffin.

“I have submitted their names and their respective departments for further action by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin,” said Dr Norlela as quoted by Bernama.

However, Dr Norlela, who is in-charge of health matters in the state government, said that these doctors are not related to the case of a Penang General Hospital houseman who died after falling from his residential unit in a nearby building on April 17.

The Penang Health Department had earlier confirmed that the houseman was a graduate medical officer who had reported for work at the hospital on April 4.

Penang district police had said that the doctor’s death was being investigated as sudden death, and they would not rule out reclassifying the case if new evidence was found, reported Bernama.

Penang General Hospital in George Town, Penang. PHOTO: PENANG HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL WEBSITE

New Straits Times reported that this is the second death involving a houseman attached to the Penang Hospital in less than two years.

The houseman’s death has drawn attention to the alleged workplace bullying in public hospitals in Malaysia, with medical officers coming forward to describe their experiences.

Khairy said on Twitter last Friday that the ministry would set up an independent task force to probe the houseman’s death as well as claims of the prevalence of a bullying culture within its health departments.

“I have received an initial report on the death of a houseman from the deceased’s head of department in Penang. Police are also conducting an investigation,” he wrote.