Dr. Fion Teo [YES 2008]
Please tell us about your work
- I am a Medical Officer in the Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Hospital Likas. I have been working in this department for 1.5 years.
How different is your working environment now during MCO?
- Treatment and cancer patient care is trickier with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. With the pandemic, we are facing tough choice between under-treating cancer patients and potentially exposing them to COVID-19.
- We have also had experienced reduction in our workforce when some colleagues are deployed to the frontline or to help in other departments.
- There have been several changes to ease the impact of COVID on our unique patient cohort such limitation of exposure, prioritization and rationalization of treatment.
- Apart from our “core business” of treating patients, we are also encouraged to attend Continuous Medical Education. It used to be group discussions/meetings. Since the pandemic, we have switched to virtual meetings.
What are the challenges you face during the MCO?
- I am a new mother to a 5 months old daughter My daughter is now taken care by my mother in Kulai, Johor. I left her when she was 3 months old to come back to work in Sabah. Nine days after I left her, our country announced MCO. Since then, I have been seeing her from the phone screen only. Many days tears flow when I miss her. Two days ago, I cried my heart out when she was babbling “Ah Ma, Ah Ma” over the phone.
- The biggest challenge is to send frozen breast milk across the South China Sea for my daughter’s consumption. Till date, I haven’t been able to find a courier service to send frozen breast milk for my daughter. However, I am still hopeful. I am waiting for MCO to be lifted for me to go back and give my daughter a frozen breast milk feast. Well, I am still hoping that she wants to latch on for direct breastfeed although I know the chance is slim since we have been away from each other for quite some time.
What motivates you to continue working during the MCO?
- Every day, I learn from my patients who showed me how strong humans are in the face of adversity. And, cancer care is made of good people who are used to doing our best in tough situations. I think that is what got me through.
- Of course, I hope that the pandemic will be over soon, so that I can be given the chance to go back to my family; to have my own “lock-down” with them.