Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Deputy Ministry of Health Ana Isabel Soares said improving the professional ethics and attitude of medical personnel remains a significant challenge for the Ministry of Health, particularly in terms of providing quality treatment.

Deputy Ministry of Health Ana Isabel Soares said professional ethics still a challenge for Health Ministry.

She said communities continued to have concerns over the insensitive language used by the health personnel when treating patients.

The Ministry has made efforts to provide training to health personnel on their ethical code of conduct, but not all were willing to adopt the principles in their work and it also took time to change attitudes. 

“I can buy the doctor’s time, but I cannot buy their affection to give to patients because it is coming from people’s heart,” said Soares.

“We continue to provide training and remind health personnel to consider the patient as a member of their own family.”

She called on health personnel, particularly specialists, to set a good example to new doctors and help them to increase their knowledge.

She also asked the public not only to see the shortcomings of health personnel, but also to value successful work they did in saving people’s lives.

The supervisor of Timor-Leste Midwives Association (APTL), Lidia Gomes, said the majority of complaints received by the association concerned the level of assistance provided to pregnant women, especially during childbirth.

She said some of the problems occurred due to the poor standard of the health system, including limited human resources as every health center only has one midwife. This means that midwives must often take on double the workload when it comes to treating pregnant women, providing vaccinations and assisting during childbirth.

“Our plan is to do some refresher training on the code of ethics to help midwives improve their job performance when treating pregnant women,” she said.

Gomes recognized that some of the problems occurred because midwives were tired and over worked, although this did apply to all.

There are currently 782 midwives in Timor-Leste, providing health care in public and private medical facilities.

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