Internet ban at workplace for health workers sparks debate


A recent decision of the Ministry of Health to ban its employees from using social media sites while on the job has sparked a heated debate in the media.
Some commentators welcomed the MoH decision saying health workers dealing with patients and clients have no business browsing social media sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Other differed.
While announcing the decision, the Ministry of Health said that employees browsing their social media outlets neglect their tasks.
Reacting to the decision, Wafaa Al-Taib, an academic and writer at Taibah University, said: “Social media outlets are indispensable these days, even at work. In some cases, they have replaced the ordinary phone call, and it has even become normal to send memos to employees via these electronic means. It is hard nowadays to ban the use of mobiles at the workplace.
“Instead of banning their use, all directors and employers must raise awareness among employees of the sanctity of work hours, and that it is unethical to waste the time of clients by talking long hours on the mobile phone or exchanging text message on handsets while there are patients and clients waiting to be served.”
Eynass Al-Mukhlifi, a writer and journalist, said: “The entrance of social media in our communities made it an active means to communicate, exchange views, criticize and reject any negative behavior.
“On the other hand, social media became the main platform to thank any employee for his or her efforts in providing the best services to clients,” said Eynass.
But some bodies and their employees, she added, insist on the negative practices of social media.
Faisal Al-Sharif, an educational supervisor, hoped that the authorities, such as the health departments, ban the use of social media by employees who are in direct contact with customers, patients and clients.
“The time they spend on the job is not theirs; it is not their lawful right to waste it; it is the time allocated for citizens to get the service they need and have come to ask for it from this employee. He or she should not waste the citizen’s time,” he asserted.


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