Dissatisfied with govt’s response, 5000 contract doctors to walk out

ABOUT 5,000 doctors will join the contract doctors’ strike set tomorrow as the government’s response on the issue is deemed unsatisfactory, the Hartal Doktor Kontrak group says.

Among the hospitals that will be involved are Sungai Buloh Hospital, and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Selangor, Tuanku Fauziah Hospital in Perlis and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sabah.

Dr Umar Barakah, the representative of the movement said, these doctors will continue with their work before walking out at 11 am.

“We just want to show that there are many of us and without us, the health system will be paralysed,” he said in a virtual press conference yesterday.

“We believe in freedom of speech and, as contract doctors and frontliners, we have the right to voice out,” Dr Umar added.

He said the group will continue with the strike and will decide their next action accordingly based on the government’s response.

The Malaysian Reserve previously reported that about 8% of the contract doctors have either resigned or told the group of their desire to do so.

On Friday, the Cabinet has agreed to offer a two-year service extension to contract doctors upon completion of their compulsory term.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was a short-term solution to the recent issues raised by the group on their employment status.

He said the Health Ministry (MoH) had tabled a proposal during the Cabinet meeting on July 14 regarding the contract scheme for medical doctors and officers, dental officers and pharmacists.

“The Cabinet also agreed to extend the contract appointments for a maximum period of four years for medical officers and dental officers that are accepted to pursue specialist studies during the first two years of the contract.

“This step is to ensure every officer can complete their respective specialist studies,” he said in a statement.

However, the group said the contract extension is not a solution, adding that: “it’s a sugarcoating statement to shut us up.”“We know well how the system works, we are not buying it. Nobody wise enough will accept it. Stop giving us a half-baked solution given by the people who are not even in this field, or don’t even know how the system works, or maybe don’t even bother to think thoroughly about it because the problem is not theirs,” the group said. “Give us a clear planning, clear solution for our career. Could we afford to lose more and more people now?” Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba had previously said there were 35,216 contract doctors comprising 23,077 medical officers, 5,000 dental officers and 7,139 pharmacists.

By : AZREEN HANI – TMR

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