Health Ministry indifferent to plight of medical officers from S'wak, says SUPP education bureau head

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 22 Jul 2020

SIBU: The Sarawak United People's Party's (SUPP) education bureau says it regrets that the Health Ministry (MOH) has been indifferent over its request for more permanent posts for medical officers (MO), especially in East Malaysia.

Since last year, the bureau has been pushing for medical officers to be given permanent posts once they complete their two-year contract with the Ministry.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday (July 22), its bureau chief Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing said MOH and the Public Service Department (JPA) in Kuala Lumpur "have no understanding, no interests and no sympathy about the local medical predicaments in Sarawak."

Ding said from December 2019 to February 2020, both MOH and JPA have created 100 permanent MOs posts for Sarawak hospitals.

"However, less than 10% of these permanent posts were offered to Sarawak MOs on contract. Some 30 MOs from West Malaysia who were offered permanent posts refused to serve in Sarawak and these 30 permanent posts were not offered to Sarawak MOs.

“Instead, they were subsequently offered to MOs from West Malaysia," he said.

Furthermore on April 15,2020, Ding said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba announced that the ministry would offer 79 MOs on a 6-month one-off contract.

"To the best of our knowledge, 10 MOs were offered to work in Sarawak hospitals.

“However, only four Sarawakian MOs reported for duty while the other six MOs from West Malaysia did not report for duty in any Sarawak hospital," he said.

Ding said the possible reason why doctors from West Malaysia do not like to serve in Sarawak is that the state is not their home. Only Sarawak MOs will serve Sarawak permanently, he postulated.

He also highlighted the unequal distribution of posts in the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), which was not fair to Sabah and Sarawak as both were given one position each.

"As rightly pointed out by Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, how can this distribution of posts be fair to Sabah and Sarawak which are given only one post each in the MMC?

He said that of the total 33 council members, some MMC members pointed out why nine council seats had to be reserved for the local medical schools and six council seats to be appointed by the Health Minister.

Why can’t all the 33 seats in MMC be opened up for free election in accordance with the principle of democracy? The Health director-general (DG) must not necessarily be the president of MMC.

“MMC has much to learn from the Malaysian Bar Council, Sarawak Advocates Association and Sabah Law Society which always practise democracy in electing the heads of the respective legal council," said Ding.

As a result of this imbalance, SUPP president Dr Sim had suggested forming the Sarawak Medical Council (SMC), which is a separate body to register and regulate medical practice in Sarawak.

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