No action against contract doctors who took part in strike

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No action will be taken against contract doctors who participated in the Hartal Doktor Kontrak strike yesterday, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba told the Dewan Rakyat.

FMT

“Action will not be taken against the contract doctors. Insya Allah no action has been taken even though they walked out yesterday,” he said.

He was replying to points raised by lawmakers after he had briefed them this morning on the measures taken by the Health Ministry during the emergency to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of health workers staged a walkout from government hospitals across the nation at 11am yesterday as a sign of protest against the unfair contract system.

Some today claimed they had been hauled up by their department heads while police had also said they will be investigating the hartal.

Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, Klang director Dr Zulkarnain Mohd Rawi said the hospital had identified 24 contract doctors who had taken part in the strike and claimed more names will follow.

He said they will be issued with a show-cause letter.

“We know and have identified who participated in the protest yesterday. So far, we have identified 24 doctors. Of them, 17 are female and seven are male,” Zulkarnain told The Malaysian Insight.

After being cornered by several MPs from the opposition, including his predecessor Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor-PH) on permanent postings for contract doctors, Adham maintained disciplinary action will not be taken against the doctors.

Adham said the ministry will do the needful in the next two years, including the necessary amendments to the Pension Act and Medical Act.

Dzulkefly said bodies such as the Malaysian Medical Association are not seeking a two-year extension of the contract but at least eight to 10 years.

“Two years is insufficient. We are asking for eight years,” he said, adding that postgraduate studies will take time.

“Give them eight years and not two years. You cannot do postgraduate studies in that short time,” he added.

Adham responded that the extension of the contract is an interim solution and the needful will be done, including the amendment to the necessary acts.

“So that we can help these doctors. I am also a doctor and my child is also a doctor,” he said.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Friday that Putrajaya will extend the contract term for medical officers and dentists who have been accepted into specialist training to a maximum period of four years.

This, he said, applies to those who have been accepted to undergo specialist training within the first two years of their contract term.

Muhyiddin also said as an immediate resolution, the cabinet has decided to offer a two-year contract of service to medical officers, dentists and pharmacists who have completed their mandatory service to ensure continuation to their service and as preparation for their specialist training.

The contract doctors, however, rejected this, saying it was a “half-baked” proposal. This led to the strike yesterday. – TMI