GHS nurse death raises concerns for mental well-being of healthcare workers – Mothership.SG
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The death of a nurse who worked at Singapore General Hospital was recently made public.
Nurse Karunyah Paskaran died on December 3, according to a December 7 condolence message posted on The times of the straits by SGH management and staff.
Nurse’s death draws attention to mental well-being of healthcare workers
The obituary was then posted online, including the âsgnightingalesâ Instagram page, which advocates for nurses in Singapore. This sparked more discussion about the well-being of healthcare workers.
An anonymous post to the page said Karunyah was suffering from depression and was eager to return home to Malaysia. However, “the situation in [her] the room does not allow him to do so “.
The anonymous contributor added that he was not sure if the hospital management was aware of Karunyah’s condition, but hopes the incident will remind management to care more about the mental well-being of its employees. .
In response to the incident, a few anonymous contributors also alleged that hospital staff were told not to like messages related to the incident while others came forward to share the hardships encountered at work.
Meanwhile, the sgnightingales Instagram page reposted a number of Instagram stories about Karunyah and the working conditions that healthcare workers face:
In response to Mothership, SGH shared a statement from Head Nurse Ng Gaik Nai on December 10:
âWe are aware of messages and publications on social networks concerning the death of one of our colleagues. We are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved colleague and dear friend to many SGH. Our sincere condolences go out to his family. We reached out to them to offer our help during this difficult time of immense grief. We also support our colleagues as they mourn this loss. Out of respect for the family and our staff, we seek the understanding of the public so as not to speculate on the incident. “
This statement was also posted on their Facebook page, urging members of the public to avoid speculating about the incident.
Ng also said the hospital had contacted the family of the deceased to offer assistance.
SGH did not respond to inquiries whether staff members had been told not to like social media posts related to this incident.
Reactions to the SGH Response
Many commentators on SGH’s message have expressed concerns about the work environment for healthcare workers.
Some also defended “speculation” or public interest in the nurse’s death, calling for more to be done to improve the working conditions of nurses.
Here are some comments left in response to SGH’s Facebook post:
Sgnightingales then reposted SGH’s response and here are some of the main comments:
What has been done for healthcare workers?
The pandemic has wreaked havoc among healthcare workers around the world as they have worked longer hours to deal with sudden surges in patient numbers due to new waves of Covid-19 infection.
Healthcare workers who work away from home have more difficulty than others.
In October, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung issued a circular urging healthcare clusters to register their staff on leave towards the end of 2021, The times of the straits reported.
He also described four ways the ministry is working to help give healthcare workers “a reprieve”: Redeploy excess swabs to become health assistants, call in volunteers to join SG Healthcare Corps, bring in workforce from private hospitals, and reduce non-urgent and life-threatening care treatments in public institutions.
In November, Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary told parliament about 1,500 health workers resigned in the first half of 2021.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the quit rate was 2,000 per year.
âForeign healthcare workers have also quit in greater numbers, especially when they cannot travel to see their families at home,â Janil added.
Many of these healthcare workers were unable to take time off, and over 90% of them were unable to erase their accumulated leave days for this year.
Janil also highlighted the measures the government is taking to help alleviate the workload of healthcare workers.
âWe are asking for more volunteers to join the SG Healthcare Corps and support this important work. We are working with private hospitals to help alleviate some of the burden on healthcare workers in our public hospitals. We are intensifying the recruitment of healthcare workers from abroad, âhe said.
If you or someone you know is in mental distress, here are some phone lines you can call for help, advice, or just a listening ear:
24-hour SOS hotline: 1-767
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
Here are some helpful tips to support your loved ones who are healthcare workers:
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Top image via @ sgnighttingales / Instagram