Contract doctors plan symbolic ‘mass resignation’ in Dec if govt still refuses to grant permanent posts

KUALA LUMPUR : The team behind the #HartalDoktorKontrak (HDK) movement said it is planning a symbolic “mass resignation” if the government refuses to hire the remaining 22,288 contract doctors permanently by December.

According to Utusan Malaysia, HDK spokesman Dr Muhammad Yassin said it is planning a strike after the previous walkout, where contract doctors will now hold placards saying “mass resignation”.

He added that his team will organise a press conference this week to clarify the matter.

“At the press conference we will reveal the exact date the second series of strikes,” he was quoted as saying.

In the report, Dr Muhammad Yassin said that the protest will take between 30 minutes and one hour. 

He continued to say that the team was unsure of the total number of participants and stressed that it will have to link up with contract doctors who have resigned previously.

“In my opinion, if we continue to work with the Health Ministry but still hold the contract doctors status, it’s hard for us to move forward (get the same opportunities as permanent doctors),” he added.

When asked by the Malay daily if the protest will disrupt healthcare services at government hospitals, he said that it will not happen as other medical workers will still be carrying out their duties, much like the previous strike.

“It is our responsibility to take care of the patients so that nothing will be affected no matter what we do.

“Nothing bad happened during the previous strike,” he told Utusan Malaysia.

Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Sungai Buloh Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Sungai Buloh Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

He further said that his team will continue to hold talks with related ministries and government agencies until the date of the protest arrives.

Previously, the HDK movement, pushing for contract medical officers to be given permanent posts, said it will be organising a second event in protest of the recent Budget 2022 announcement.

Under Budget 2022, the government announced that 10,000 trainee doctors’ contracts will be extended by another two years, rather than be given permanent posts. 

In July, following a hartal by contract doctors, a special task force led by the Malaysian Medical Association and the Ministry of Health was set up to oversee an amendment of the Pensions Act 1980 to solve the problem.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reportedly said that the amendment should allow for permanent employment with Employees Provident Fund payments within two years of all contract extensions given to the some 23,000 contract doctors currently employed by the government.

By : SHAHRIN AIZAT NOORSHAHRIZAM – MALAY MAIL

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