Group calls for townhall session to allow junior doctors to air their grievances against contract system

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Jun 2021

PETALING JAYA: A group representing young doctors is against a strike allegedly planned by their peers to protest the present contract system.

Instead, the group has called for a townhall session for junior doctors to air their grievances.

The Malaysian Medical Association Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers and Specialists (MMA SCHOMOS) said it does not condone a work strike during a pandemic and believes the townhall session would allow sentiments on the ground to be heard while showing their solidarity for junior doctors.

“The government must realise that the failure of the contract system has led to these drastic actions by contract officers.

“There are no clear (or) transparent criteria nor proper evaluation for selection to permanent posts and no postgraduate pathways for contract doctors,” the group said in a statement.

It also understood that some of the affected junior doctors had as little as six months left until the end of their contracts and had little to lose if they carried out the strike.

The group also thanked Finance Minister Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz for calling them for a meeting after the MMA sent a letter to all MPs on Wednesday (June 23) listing three areas in the healthcare sector that needs attention.

Three areas that need attention are the lack of human resources and avenues for professional development, acknowledging the critical nature of the healthcare sector and the need for a comprehensive science-based approach for the National Recovery Plan.

The group added that the lack of human resources in the healthcare sector was further exacerbated by the lack of job security and opportunities for career progression for junior contract doctors who form the bulk of the Covid-19 response team.

They also said that the current contract system is “messy, biased and a failure” as it caused junior doctors uncertainty over their employment in the government service and future as healthcare professionals.

The problem has also caused many contract doctors to leave the profession, MMA claimed.

In their meeting with Tengku Zafrul, MMA SCHOMOS said they discussed the various issues faced by house officers, medical officers and specialists and the minister has agreed to expedite the matters and look into the current working papers.

The group said it will continue working with authorities that have responded to their letter and are looking forward to fruitful results.

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