Double-shift system proposal only for crowded clinics — deputy minister

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 30): The proposal of a double-shift system by the Ministry of Health (MoH) will only be adopted at crowded government clinics, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali.

He said besides the number of patients receiving treatment at healthcare facilities, other factors to be considered when implementing the system include the capacity and capabilities of staff.

He said the two shifts are meant to reduce the burden of MoH personnel since some of them stationed in clinics had to work extended hours of up to 10pm.

“It is true that we allow them to make claims, but at the expense of their personal time and spending time with family.

“In addition, we can also ensure social distancing because there are too many patients and some clinics have several doctors in one treatment room,” he told reporters after the Shopee Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Covid-19 Fund cheque presentation ceremony here today.

According to Noor Azmi, the ministry tried to implement the two-shift system at several crowded clinics, including in Pahang and Putrajaya, in mid-June.

“Those that implement the system are clinics that extend their operating hours. We just reduced the extended hours and put them into shifts.

“It is good so far. I am sure they (staff) are happy as it has reduced their workload, compared to those days when they had to work until 10pm,” he added.

Commenting on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in schools to curb the spread of Covid-19, Noor Azmi said there had been no cases of non-compliance so far.

He also reminded parents not to send symptomatic children to nurseries or kindergartens when they resume operations tomorrow.

Meanwhile, MMA Foundation (MMAF) president Datuk R Doraisingam Pillai said RM699,830 had been raised online through the Shopee MMA Covid-19 Fund for healthcare workers battling the pandemic.

The fund, launched in April, is a collaboration between the MMA, MMAF and an online shopping platform, Shopee. It has collected an accumulated amount of RM964,881.

“All proceeds from the fund will be channelled via the MMAF for the benefit of frontliners fighting the pandemic,” he added.

Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said the fund is important in ensuring that medical workers are taken care of, so that the healthcare sector is better positioned to continue the fight against Covid-19.

The Shopee MMA Covid-19 Fund attracted over 32,000 donors over the three-month period since its launch.

Donations of RM5 were made via the MMA and MMAF digital store front on the Shopee application, with contributions of RM100 and above getting a tax-exempt receipt.

Today is the last day for donations.