'Not using BM, English during ward rounds hinders teamwork'

Tasnim Lokman

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association has stepped in to arbitrate the issue of ward rounds being carried out in languages other than English and Bahasa Malayisa.

Its president, Dr Mohamed Namazie Ibrahim, said it was important that only the national language and English were used by doctors during such engagement.

“It may be been done unintentionally and, therefore, it could be premature to say that this is a case of discrimination.

“Unless, of course, consultants or doctors who lead ward rounds deliberately do that at the expense of others who do not understand, say, Mandarin or other languages,” he told the New Sunday Times.

This practice, he said, should not be encouraged as it would be unfair to housemen and medical officers who did not speak and understand the languages used.

Dr Namazie said such practices could lead to miscommunication and it would not be in the interest of patients’ safety.

“It is not a conducive envi-
ronment to promote teamwork”.

Dr Namazie told hospital department heads and senior staff to be exemplary and sent out a memo to make it a formal practice that ward rounds were conducted in only Bahasa Malaysia and English.

“This is also common courtesy, that all should act in the interest of national unity,” he said, adding that if the trend was true, directors of hospitals where it was happening should intervene.

Dr Namazie called out to anyone who felt discriminated and acted unfairly against to call the MMA Helpdoc helpline at 03-4041 1140 for assistance. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd