Health Ministry awaits sexual harassment inquiry report for tabling to Cabinet

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks to reporters after the launch of National Dental Healthcare Week at Dataran DBKL, Kuala Lumpur September 2, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — The Health Ministry is awaiting a final report from an independent body that conducted an inquiry into the alleged sexual assault of housemen.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad explained that his ministry has been briefed by the body of their findings following the inquiry, saying their final report would then be presented to the rest of the Cabinet once received.

“We are waiting for the independent body to write to me in full, where they would recommend steps concerning ways in handling the matter and how to avoid such situations in the future.

“The report would then be presented to the Cabinet before any final decision has been made,” he said this morning after launching the National Dental Healthcare Week event at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) building.

His comments were in connection with reports that emerged in July implicating the head of the Orthopaedics Department from a hospital in the capital for alleged sexual harassment towards female housemen over several years.

Dzulkefly also commented on several other developments, revealing his ministry was looking at closing down 33 1Malaysia clinics, with the remaining 313 outlets revamped into Community Clinics.

He also touched on the price of consultation in private clinics following the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST), saying the ministry had held a town hall meeting with several stakeholders in the industry.

“We took all their views into account, the pros and the cons, which again would have to be presented to the entire Cabinet of ministers before any decision would be made,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dzulkefly also confirmed reports of a directive sent to ministers by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, instructing them to hire no more than 10 special officers.

“Yes it was a directive given to us, but as far as the Health Ministry is concerned, we can adhere to it no problem.

“But maybe some other ministries, like the Education Ministry, where it has also taken on the role of the former higher education ministry, might need more manpower,” he added.

This comes as reports had claimed the prime minister limited ministers’ offices to 10 special officers.

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