Malaysian Contract-Based Doctors : The contract plan was introduced in December 2016 to deal with glut
KUALA LUMPUR: Over-contracted doctors in Malaysia staged a nationwide strike on Monday after complaints about job insecurity could be raised by the government.
As many as 8,000 junior doctors have been discharged from public hospitals, some dressed in black, in search of better benefits and job security.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin responded to their demands for permanent health care with the promise of a two-year contract extension for those who completed their compulsory four-year extension to those who follow their technical plans with equal benefits for contract doctors.
Proponents of the case have been working to make the actual document of this statement is available online. They added that the government’s response was “not very thoughtful.”
They said: “We believe that the announcement made will not reduce the brain drain facing the public health sector and that most medical personnel will eventually leave the program.”
In an interview with Arab News, a doctor at Ampang Hospital, who asked not to be named, said almost 100 contracted doctors were involved in the campaign yesterday.
She has worked as a contracted medical worker for the past two years and there has been no indication that she will work permanently in the future.
“I wait every year and hope that the government will give us a permanent position within the health care system that offers the benefits of our studies, paying benefits and allowances and leave as permanent medical officers because there is no problem, we are all doing the same job,” he said.
Ten years ago in Malaysia, there was overcrowding of medical graduates when its health system required young doctors to work with government institutions for less than five years.
Graduates of medical schools are admitted to public hospitals and clinics as contract doctors who have to complete three years of medical schooling or housing for an additional two years of compulsory service with the Department of Health.
The contract program was launched in December 2016 to deal with the glut.
“We all want the same thing: We want our positions to last forever and not to get contracts,” doctors said.
Doctors who expressed an interest in joining the protest earlier in the day had faced threats and warnings of termination and disciplinary action.
On Monday, police confirmed that an investigation would be launched into the walkout at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, citing section 10 of the National Recovery Plan Regulations 2021, which does not allow rallies.
Dang Wangi District Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamad Zainal Abdullah confirmed the investigation into the case.
Last Sunday, Malaysia dropped 1 million total infections despite the government calling for a state of emergency in January to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
While its health care system is falling under pressure, contract doctors say they work 12-hour shifts every day without authorized leave.
A doctor working at Sungai Buloh told Arab News that prolonged work on the front lines treats COVID-19 patients without occupational safety leads many to quit.
“What we are asking for is a guarantee of employment in our country. Is it too much to ask, I don’t think? If you do not have a guaranteed permanent job, I bet you will be left with zero professionals in the near future and Malaysia will be destroyed, ”he said.
According to the Department of Health, 23 077 medical staff have been employed since 2016, but only 789 have been permanently employed.
Malaysia has recorded 14,516 infections on Monday with the highest cases recorded in Selangor.
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