Health Ministry offers self-care tips to frontline workers facing burnout during Covid-19 crisis

Keep burnout at bay with these helpful tips from the Health Ministry. — Image from Facebook/myhealthkkm
Keep burnout at bay with these helpful tips from the Health Ministry. — Image from Facebook/myhealthkkm

PETALING JAYA, April 2 — Malaysia’s Health Ministry has posted tips for frontline personnel who may be overwhelmed by their workload during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a graphic titled “Covid-19: Steps To Deal With Burnout” on the Myhealth Portal Facebook page, the ministry advised workers to eat healthy meals, say encouraging things to oneself, and practice deep breathing to keep their minds and bodies at ease as they work around the clock to battle the virus.

Other tips included opening up about any worries one might have with a trusted companion and to seek professional counselling if needed.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) website states that while burnout is not classified as a medical condition, it is a recognised occupational phenomenon.

It is caused by chronic, work-related stress and is characterised by three main symptoms: feelings of exhaustion, mental detachment, cynicism, or negativity towards one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy.

Malaysian Medical Association president Dr N. Ganabaskaran recently told Malaysiakini that doctors and nurses are at risk of burnout as they struggle to keep up in understaffed government hospitals and clinics.

He urged the government to lift its hiring freeze on the public healthcare sector to ease the burdens faced by frontline workers and ensure the safety of patients.

“Our stand is clear, we need the positions to be made available to provide better service to the public while ensuring that the current staff are not burnt out and spent from overstretching themselves to meet the shortfalls in staffing.

“It is reaching a critical point and tired healthcare staff would certainly carry the risk of making more errors in care, affecting patient safety,” Ganabaskaran was quoted as saying.

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