Not Enough Women Doctors For Govt Suggestion

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 13 – The suggestion by the government to have only women doctors deliver babies at public hospitals is ideal, but impossible to be implemented, even in the long-run, said Dr Murizah Mohd Zain, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.

She said this was because the number of women obstetrician and gynaecologist in the country was still small, compared with men doctors specialising in the fields. To be able to have only women doctors deliver babies at hospitals, we must first address the shortage of women doctors in the field, she told Bernama here today.

Currently, she said 80% of deliveries are categorised as low-risk and could be handled by women nurses. She said cases which have complications will be handled by doctors on duty at that particular time, who may not necessarily be women doctors. She also said that the priority then is the patient’s safety.

Murizah said the government should encourage more female doctors to specialise in obstetrician and gynaecology by providing incentives like child-care centre at workplace. She added that the government should also consider giving special allowance to women obstetricians and gynaecologists to get more female doctors to specialise in the field.

She advised pregnant women to understand the constraints facing hospitals to meet their request to be attended by only women doctors. She said in cases where patients are attended to by doctors of the opposite sex, there would always be another hospital staff in attendance. — Bernama

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