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Video of dedicated Pitas nurse in muddied uniform touches hearts
Published on: Saturday, December 09, 2023
By: FMT, K Parkaran
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Video of dedicated Pitas nurse in muddied uniform touches hearts
Screenshots from a viral video showing the nurse being ferried by small boat across a river for a routine check of one of her patients in rural Pitas in Sabah.
PETALING JAYA: A TikTok video showing a nurse with muddied uniform travelling by boat to the remote town of Pitas, Sabah, has won the hearts of netizens, as they sang praises of the unsung heroes in providing healthcare.

The video, which has garnered 2.6 million hits and 146,100 likes so far, also drew scores of comments sympathetic towards the hardship of those providing health services in the interior.

These community nurses are ranked lower than staff nurses in paramedical services, but their duty involves travelling to the interior by boat and motorcycle to care for their patients.

The clip shows the nurse being ferried by a small boat across a river for a routine check of one of her patients in rural Pitas. She is seen struggling to hold on to the boat with her uniform dirtied by mud, saying: “This is life in a kampung.”

The text on the video read: “The sacrifices of those on duty in Sabah. Take care of yourselves and your safety.”

One user said he was surprised that these unsung heroes are not given the critical allowance that doctors and staff nurses earn, as their roles are equally demanding if not tougher.

Doctors get 5% of their basic monthly salary as hardship allowance while staff nurses are given 10%.

Another user hoped that the nurse’s superiors would not caution her for using social media to highlight the plight of community nurses, adding that she should be praised for opening the eyes of Malaysians ignorant of the sacrifices of this group of civil servants.

“They should be given special allowances for this sacrifice,” read another comment.

Senator Dr A Lingeshwaran, who in the Dewan Negara on Tuesday brought up the plight of these community nurses not being entitled to the 10% critical allowance, urged the health ministry to review its decision.

The former Sungai Bakap hospital director suggested that all civil servants working in the interior be given a rural hardship allowance.

“These nurses risk life and limb travelling across dangerous rivers and hilly terrain. They ride motorcycles to reach deep interior areas, and use small boats to cross rivers. She did the TikTok clip not just for herself, but the whole profession,” he told FMT.

“This is why I raised their plight at the Dewan Negara, asking the government to consider giving them a rural hardship allowance.”

Nurul Janah Yusof, the president of the community nurses’ association of Peninsular Malaysia, said they have been pleading with the authorities to give them the special allowance, as their jobs are much more challenging than those working in hospitals.

“As if serving in the deep interior is not enough, they have to use boats and motorbikes to reach their patients,” she told FMT.

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