LETTERS: THE Alliance of Safe Community (Ikatan) wishes to call on the authorities to beef up law enforcement this year and make Malaysia a safer and healthier place to live in.
There should be more stringent enforcement against the culprits who pollute our environment through open burning, littering and contaminating our rivers and streams.
All stakeholders must resolve to make Malaysia a cleaner place for all with the development of green cities, well-equipped hospitals, schools and parks.
Health, education, safety and the environment are basic needs and rights and these must be protected to give us a better quality of life.
We should no longer hear complaints about hospitals turning away patients due to a lack of specialists or beds. Cases of private hospitals giving priority only to those are are well off or having medical insurance should also be a thing of the past.
The welfare of doctors and medical staff, especially at government hospitals, must be taken care of as they have to deal daily with various types of patients especially those from the B40 group and others who cannot afford to seek treatment at private hospitals.
Government hospitals are also referral centres where patients are sent to when private hospitals do not have the right medical staff or equipment to deal with them.
It’s necessary for the government to accord priority to the maintenance and upgrading of hospitals. A proper maintenance culture is vital for wards, kitchens and toilets at all public hospitals.
We must increase awareness on safety and health and make the culture of proper maintenance a way of life.
The fact that incidents do occur in hospitals and other health facilities clearly point to the need that more has to be done to improve safety as well as the attitude and behaviour of those at such workplaces.
The government has spent billions on the development of hospitals and every effort must be made to inculcate the culture of maintenance and safety and those in charge must never shirk their responsibility.
Hospital work can be surprisingly dangerous. According to the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics, the likelihood of injury or illness is higher in hospitals than in construction and manufacturing sectors.
I believe that most hospital staff know this but are willing to put their own safety and health at risk due to an ethical duty to help patients.
More funding should be allocated for maintenance work. It is also our responsibility to help the government by becoming the eyes and ears on the ground.
This will help ensure that all facilities and infrastructure are well maintained and safe.
Safety must never be taken for granted.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
Chairman, Alliance of Safe
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times