KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today said that he will not interfere in the investigation by the independent Healthcare Work Culture Improvement Task Force (HWCITF) into the death of a houseman, as well as the work culture and human resource issues in the public health sector.
He said that he has given the task force the independence to do whatever it feels necessary for its probe, adding that he has instructed all agencies under the Ministry of Health (MoH) to give their full cooperation to the task force.
"They have just had their first meeting and I have given them full freedom as they are an independent task force. They have promised to deliver their report in three months.
"I have also ordered all agencies under MoH to give their full cooperation with the task force. Meaning this task force can ask anything to anyone — nothing is to be hidden from them. They can talk to housemen or any health officers should they feel the need to,” he told reporters at a press conference after officiating World Asthma Day 2022.
Recently, the death of a 25-year-old Penang Hospital houseman from a fall outside his residence on April 17 triggered a debate in the medical scene on a purported long standing toxic culture of bullying of junior doctors.
On May 13, Khairy announced the official formation of the task force, which would be led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s former secretary-general Prof Datuk Siti Hamisah Tapsir and to have eight experts as members.