Health DG urges contract doctors not to join planned strike on Monday (July 26)

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged all contract doctors and healthcare workers to refrain from joining a nationwide strike on Monday (July 26).

The Health director-general reminded them that many lives are on the line.

In a Facebook post, he said the demonstration could affect lives and even their career, while reminding them of the oath they made at the beginning of their profession, "primum non nocere”, which translates to “first do no harm” or injustice to their patients.

"While we understand that you wish to continue serving the ministry (Health Ministry) in a permanent post, currently the government has announced a two-year extension of the contract position.

"This is to give time for the amendment to be made to the Pension Act so that permanent positions can be allowed to be employed with EPF (Employees Provident Fund), for example, without the pension option," he said on Sunday (July 25).

He also said the government will allow those in contract positions to continue their masters even in contract positions and will offer the permanent post with EPF once it is made available.

"I wish to remind all that patient’s safety is our priority. Remember the oath we took sincerely and be there for your patients at the time when they and the country needed you the most.

"We are the last bastion of defence to make a difference to our patients and every life matters," said Dr Noor Hisham.

Previously, the media reported that about 23,000 contract doctors will go on a nationwide strike on July 26, after the group’s various efforts for permanent absorption into the service have failed to yield any result.

However, on July 23, the government agreed that medical, dental and pharmacy officers under contract appointments would be offered a two-year contract of service upon completion of their compulsory service period.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a statement said the move was to ensure continuity of service and also as a preparation for young doctors to pursue specialist training.

He said the Cabinet also agreed to extend the contract of service to a maximum of four years for medical and dental officers accepted to pursue specialist training during their first two-year contract. - Bernama

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