Plans for permanent posts for medical officers

The Health Ministry (MOH) is preparing a projection on the number of medical officers that need to be appointed on a permanent basis.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) said the projection would be submitted to the Public Service Department (PSD) and the Finance Ministry.

“I’m not sure if we can absorb all of them who are under contract for permanent posts, but we start with the projection on the needs first... I’m sure with that projection, we can work on how we can absorb them into permanent service,” Bernama quoted him as saying.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) during the Minister’s Question Time. Azizah wanted to know the financial implications if the government were to appoint all contract doctors to permanent posts.Khairy said since the end of 2016, more than 24,000 graduate training medical officers had been appointed on a contract basis, but about 1,000 of them were offered permanent posts.

Meanwhile, through the tabling of Budget 2022, Khairy said the government had agreed to continue with the appointment of 10,583 medical-related officers on contract – medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers, involving an allocation of RM336.35mil.

He said out of the total, 4,186 officers had been evaluated and could be recommended to the PSD for permanent appointment.

They involve 3,586 medical officers, 300 dental officers and 300 pharmaceutical officers, and this, he added, would require an allocation of RM377,485,089.

Apart from that, Khairy said the government had also provided RM100mil in sponsorship for specialist programmes that would benefit 3,000 medical and dental contract officers.

He said a special committee has also been set up to find a long-term solution to the issue of contract appointments, which included the need to amend several laws, such as the Medical Act and the Dental Act.

At the same time, MOH and PSD are still continuing discussions to amend the Pension Act and the suitability of offering permanent and more sustainable appointments to medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers through the Employees Provident Fund scheme.

Khairy said this in response to a question by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) on measures taken by the government in facing the second wave of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak, a movement by the Health Ministry contract doctors. Anwar asked what the financial implications facing the government were if their contracts were to be absorbed to permanent posts.

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