PETALING JAYA - Parents of housemen are calling for government intervention on allegations that housemen are constantly bullied and ridiculed by senior doctors besides being forced to work up to 16 hours daily.
A parent from Selayang, who only wanted to be known as Ahmad, 58, said his son and daughter-in-law, who are both undergoing housemanship, had complained of bullying at their hospitals.
"They said many housemen had quit because they could not take the pressure and the bullying by the senior doctors," he said, adding that housemen were also ridiculed in front of patients and visitors.
Ahmad also claimed the senior doctors made uncalled-for statements such as: "You do not deserve to be here" and "You are only here because you are a rich man's son/daughter".
Ahmad added that housemen at some hospitals hardly had any work to do because there were too many of them at one hospital, while other housemen were working between 14 and 16 hours a day because there were not enough doctors.
"They are at the mercy of seniors who evaluate them. The ministry does not gather feedback from the housemen to see if they were being evaluated objectively," he said.
Former Kampung Tunku assemblyman Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou said several parents had complained that some seniors carried out "tagging" on housemen. Their targets would be rostered for on-call duties for long hours and days.
"While seniors tend to do that to newcomers as part of the orientation process, they should not do it for more than two weeks," he said, adding that those who were more quiet or timid were the favoured targets of seniors.
Dr Wong said seniors also punished housemen by making them stand at a corner and asking them to write repeatedly, for instance, the difference between a nerve and a muscle.