Reports on housemen sex harassment, K1M rebranding to be presented to Cabinet

Hidir Reduan, SITI NUR MAS ERAH AMRAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Final reports on the alleged sexual harassment of female housemen; the rebranding of Klinik 1Malaysia; and the Sales and Services Tax’s (SST) impact on clinic charges will be presented to Cabinet next week.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad today said that the final reports contain findings and recommendations based on committee and stakeholder meetings and reviews held recently.

On the allegations of sexual harassment of housemen at a public hospital here, Dr Dzulkefly said that he has been briefed by an independent committee on its proposals on how to address the issue; and is awaiting a black-and-white report by an independent investigation committee.

“Their proposals will ensure that (sexual harassment does not persist). This will be raised in the next Cabinet meeting. This is to allay anxiety (over the issue) and to show that (the ministry) is not keeping quiet (on the matter),” he said.

On July 29, The Star reported that the Orthopaedics Department head of a Klang Valley hospital is alleged to have been sexually harassing a female houseman for years.

In the wake of the scandal, an independent committee – comprised of the Health Ministry and the Women, Family and Development Ministry – was established to probe the case.

On concerns over the impact of SST on clinic rates, Dr Dzulkefly said that the ministry has gathered feedback from a recent town hall meeting with patients, consumer associations and other stakeholders.

The SST came into effect on Sept 1.

“We have feedback on the pros and cons (of the SST). They will be tabled during the next Cabinet meeting for deliberation and decision,” he told the media after launching the Dental Health Promotion Week at Dataran DBKL here, this morning.

As regards a proposal to rebrand Klinik 1Malaysia, Dr Dzulkefly said that a revamp would include stationing a medical officer at each premises.

“(We propose) the posting of a medical officer, a pharmacist and a nurse at each clinic.

“This (would be a change from how) Klinik 1Malaysia (are currently structured),” he said, adding that the proposals are based on a review of 346 such clinics, with 33 of them in serious need of a revamp.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister urged the rakyat to take dental care seriously, as a survey found that nine out of 10 Malaysians suffer from some form of dental problem.

He advised those who find that their gums often bleed not to dismiss it as a “small matter” but to get them checked by a dentist immediately, as it may be a sign of a serious health condition such as diabetes. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd