Karunyah Paskaran, a young SGH nurse at the Urology ward, committed suicide a few days ago. She badly wanted to go back to Malaysia to attend her friend’s wedding and see her family but could not do so.
Ms Karunyah Paskaran, a young SGH nurse working in the Urology ward, committed suicide a few days ago.
According to her colleague, Ms Karunyah Paskaran had been struggling with anxiety. She wanted to go back to Malaysia badly to attend her friend’s wedding and see her family. However, she could not do so due to the situation in the ward.
Succumbing to mental stress and fatigue, she later jumped down from the building and passed away.
Friends and colleagues at the Singapore General Hospital described her as a nice and friendly nurse who worked hard with the team through the Covid-19 pandemic. Little did they know the problems she was going through would cause her to take her life.
Nurses’ Mental Health Neglected
It is no secret that staff at public hospitals have been overworked especially since the pandemic. Staff work long hours and could not go on overseas leave for almost two years until MOH finally lifted the suspension in October this year.
However, after a brief calm, the number of covid-19 cases surged again when the Ministerial Taskforce decided to open up. Now with the latest Omicron variant emerging, many are unsure if they would ever see the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
The ones who feel the immediate impact of all this are invariably the frontline workers. Working overtime has become the norm and despite the heavy workload, they cannot stop due to a shortage of manpower.
Is the Ministry of Health blind to the stress these healthcare workers are facing? Is SGH management paying enough attention to the welfare of their staff and hearing their stress calls? Do they even care about their staff?
The tragic death of this SGH nurse should not have to happen. Her death is a stark reminder not to take mental health lightly. Hospital staff are human too and they need rest.
MOH needs to look into what went wrong in Ms Karunyah Paskaran’s case before another nurse falls victim to anxiety and burnout.