Help healthcare workers deal with stress, says Niosh

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye has urged the Health Ministry to boost efforts in promoting mental health among healthcare workers who deal with occupational stress on a regular basis.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman said stress was a big issue among healthcare workers who have to deal with a high volume of patients, many of whom could be very demanding.

“When we talk about promoting occupational safety and health (OSH), we should also focus on positive mental health development.

“Stress cannot be avoided, people deal with stress everywhere. But I believe what we need to promote is how we can cope with stress,” he told reporters at the World OSH Day Celebration jointly organised by Sabah and Labuan NIOSH and KPJ Specialist Hospital.

He added that Niosh also played a part in promoting mental wellness among Malaysians through its “Total Health” programme.

Earlier in his speech, Lee suggested that the Health Ministry looked into various OSH issues at all hospitals that were affecting their staff and caregivers.

He said hospitals had serious hazards especially when staff members were lifting and moving patients, in addition to being exposed to needles as well as risks of being assaulted by aggressive patients or visitors.

Lee also hoped that all hospitals could increase awareness on commuting accidents since 554 commuting accidents were recorded involving various categories of health personnel serving in hospitals under the Health Ministry from 2014 to 2016.

It was reported that the highest number of accidents involved nurses in 295 cases, followed by healthcare assistants (91), other job categories (52), assistant medical officers (35), drivers (31) and food preparation assistants (15).

Also present at the event were KPJ Sabah medical director Prof Datuk Dr Ajaz Ahmad Nabijan and Sabah and Labuan Niosh regional manager Wan Sarman Sakan.

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