Just days ahead of a planned nationwide strike by contract government doctors over alleged unfair treatment, Putrajaya today announced that it will provide them career path opportunities at par with their permanent colleagues.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a statement said the government has agreed that contract doctors, dentists and pharmacists would receive perks similar to permanent positions, including a fully paid study leave to do their specialisation.
“As an immediate resolution, the cabinet agreed that all contracted medical officers, dentists, and pharmacists be offered two-year contract term after they conclude their mandatory service. This is to ensure continuity of service and as preparation for them to attain specialisation.
“The cabinet also agreed to extend contractual appointments for a maximum of four years to medical officers and dentists who are accepted to further study in specialisation during their first two-year contract. This is to ensure that the officers can successfully complete their respective specialisation training.
On top of these, he added, the government would improve the benefits that are offered to the contract officers, including entitlement to special duties leave, tuberculosis Leave, and fare to visit their hometown.
Yesterday, a group of contract doctors who rallied to spearhead a movement called ‘Hartal Doktor Kontrak’ announced that they will proceed with a strike on July 26 as Putrajaya has yet to offer a resolution to their woes.
In a press conference held this morning, the representatives of the group said that the protest would happen at 11am on Monday, where contract doctors at government hospitals nationwide are expected to perform a walkout and head home as a show of protest of alleged unfair treatment against them.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said he has also ordered the Health Ministry and other related agencies to draft a comprehensive and inclusive plan to improve treatment on the healthcare workers.
He said the immediate resolutions announced today would give some room for the government to finalise their study on reforming the healthcare system, to look into existing terms, and plan a long-term way forward for the country’s healthcare service.
“The government really appreciates the contribution of doctors as frontliners in facing this Covid-19 pandemic, and we will continue to be committed in ensuring the welfare of contract doctors, dentists and pharmacists, and to give fair attention to their career path.”
Malaysiakini has also contacted representatives of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak for response. They are expected to issue a statement later today.