Health DG calls for special task force to look into issues affecting contract doctors

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. – Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says he hopes a special task force can be formed to look into the grouses of contract doctors.

The Health director-general said the task force could be led by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and the Health Ministry, to look into possible amendments to the Pension Act to enable permanent posts – and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions – for contract doctors, hopefully within two years.

"We hope a special task force led by MMA and MOH will see to the amendment of the Pension Act for a permanent employment with EPF within two years for all contract extension given to all 23,000 doctors now. I believe all parliamentarians will support this wholeheartedly as seen today," he tweeted on Tuesday (July 27).

He said the issue that affects the welfare of doctors and healthcare workers was a long-standing problem.

He referred to a tweet of his from July 2019 that was brought up in Parliament on Tuesday.

His tweet said: "We are currently underfunded, understaffed, underpaid, overworked, overstretched and with facilities overcrowded with patients."

Dr Noor Hisham said he would like to see an amicable solution reached via negotiation rather than demonstrations during this difficult time with the movement control order still in place.

In the interim, he said contract officers could still continue with their postgraduate education in a Masters programme or a parallel pathway.

"It is our utmost hope that in two years or less, they will be absorbed into permanent employment under (sic) EPF," he said.

On Monday (July 26), contract doctors nationwide participated in a protest initiated by the Hartal Doktor Kontrak group, urging the government to offer contract doctors better terms as well as permanent positions.

The government recently announced that it would increase the tenure of contract doctors by another four years but there was no mention of permanent positions.

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