‘Communication crucial in treating patients’

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds


MEDICAL and health professionals must be experts in humanitarian aspects, particularly in understanding patients’ needs and attitudes as well as risk factors, environmental dynamics and the latest developments in medical science, an official at the Ministry of Health (MoH) said yesterday.

Speaking at an orientation and induction ceremony for a programme for new medical and health officers and specialists held at Al-‘Afiah Hall, Ministry of Health, Acting Permanent Secretary Dr Hjh Rahmah Hj Md Said said medical and health professionals must not only be experts in technical and clinical aspects.

“The roles and responsibilities of medical and health professionals are indeed challenging. As frontliners, you will face various kinds of attitudes, expectations and needs from patients,” she said.

Dr Hjh Rahmah added that one must take note of the differences in socio-cultural environments of the country and institutions where they are trained.

Such aspects require understanding, empathy and tolerance so as to avoid confusion, dissatisfaction and anger, she said.

“Language as well as methods and frequency of communication should be given attention to in order to develop good relationships with patients, which will have a positive impact towards understanding their illnesses,” she said.

She said some patients might assume that medical professionals aren’t aware of or are insensitive towards patients’ feelings due to advancements in modern medical treatment which are becoming specialised.

“Communication is crucial in managing dynamic relationships with patients so that they feel they are being cared for,” she said.

She said effective communication will benefit medical and health professionals as well as patients, and with that, problems faced by the patients can be identified properly.

“Patients too will be satisfied with treatments given to them so as to produce positive attitudes like abiding by treatment procedures and health advice…It (communication) can also help reduce their (patients’) depression due to the illness faced,” she said.

She also advised the new medical professionals to give attention to the Master Plan for the Health System and Healthcare Infrastructure for Brunei Darussalam, which will provide clear direction in guiding the ministry’s development policies and strategies in an integrated manner.

Forty local medical and health officers and specialists who have served not more than three years in the health ministry are attending the programme.

According to a press statement from MoH, some of the activities being conducted during the programme include team building, community diagnosis and briefings on the ministry’s mission, vision and objectives.

The programme started yesterday and will end on September 14.

The Brunei Times.