PETALING JAYA: While the department head at a Klang Valley hospital, who allegedly sexually abused female housemen, has gone on indefinite leave, more victims have come forward to share their experiences.
According to sources, the senior doctor was told to go on leave following media reports of his alleged sexual harassment of housemen.
Since last Sunday Star’s front-page expose of the alleged sex predator’s acts, more victims, including housemen, have come forward to lodge complaints of sexual abuse that occurred in hospitals, said the Health Ministry.
Speaking on condition of strict anonymity, former houseman Lara (not her real name) yesterday related her ordeal to The Star, saying that her ugly encounter with the department head only started in the second month of her posting.
“He called me to his office privately one day and gave me an assignment.
“As I got ready to leave, we shook hands. And suddenly he pulled me into his arms and tried to kiss my cheeks.
“I managed to dodge it and flee,” she said, adding she only told a few people about it as she was afraid of his influence in the department.
Another unpleasant incident happened at the end of her posting.
“The department head asked me to carry his stuff to his car.
“The car park was deserted then. When we reached his vehicle, he asked for a wefie,” she said.
“As we were taking the wefie he tried to hug and kiss me again. His attempt was thwarted when another staff member came in to park.
“I was lucky someone came!”
Another former houseman said she steered clear of the senior doctor after she was warned by others in the department.
She had an incident-free four months there until the last day of her posting when she unintentionally came late for work.
Her boss then told her he had a “punishment” for her, which was to carry his stuff to his car after he spoke at a conference in the hospital.
“I was carrying his stuff and he asked me: ‘You are not married yet, right? If I were your age I would have flirted with you,’” she recalled.
Worse was yet to come.
“In the lift later, he started hugging me tight and told me: ‘I treat you all as my daughters so just treat me as a father,’” she said, adding that she was frozen in fear.
When they reached his car, he asked for a wefie.
“He liked to take wefies with female house officers. I tried to stay as far away from him during the wefie,” she added.
Female house officers were not the only ones at the receiving end; even medical officers and specialists were not spared.
Joseph, who used to work as a medical officer under him, said he would frequently coax them to go for drinks with him.
And because they needed the head’s approval to go on annual leave, he would tell the young doctors they did not have strong reasons to go on leave but he was ready to talk over dinner.
“I was forced to take alcohol. Although I did not enjoy drinking, I had to bring a bottle or two for such dinners.
“At the end of the night, he might not even sign our leave form,” he said, adding the boss usually had private dinners and drinks with his medical staff once or twice a week.
Meanwhile, in Serdang, deputy Health director-general Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar said many allegations had been made on the department head, but he had not been able to locate any police report related to the case.
“Please show us the police report,” he said when asked to comment on the recent press report about the department head in a hospital in the Klang Valley, who has been accused of sexual harassment against female housemen.
The police had also gone to the hospital to investigate the matter but still could not find the report, he told reporters after an interactive session at the Conference on Physician Resiliency yesterday.
On Monday, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said an independent inquiry body would be set up to look into the case following the media reports.
All victims who faced abuse or harassment of any form at the hospital workplace are urged to file a direct report to the minister at firstname.lastname@example.org .