Health Ministry mulling absorbing contract workers as permanent staff without pension, says Dr Zaliha

Minister of Health, Dr Zaliha Mustafa visited the landslide victims of Father's Organic Farm, Batang Kali who were admitted to the Red Zone, Hospital Selayang today Kamarul Ariffin/TheStar

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry is holding discussions with the Public Service Department (JPA) to absorb contract medical personnel to the permanent staff without pensions.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic) said this was to deal with the workload that exceeded the capacity of available resources, as well as to reduce the burden of the pension scheme borne by the country at the moment, which amounted to RM29.1bil in 2021.

"We are aware of the burden facing the government with the pension scheme, which in 2011 was worth RM3.1bil and increased to RM29.1bil in 2021.

"So, the way out is to absorb contract workers on a permanent basis, but without a pension, yet they enjoy the same benefits as other permanent workers, like eligible for housing loan," she said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Negara on Thursday (March 30).

She was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Jefridin Atan who wanted to know whether the Health Ministry was considering employing more contract doctors to overcome the workload of health workers.

Meanwhile, Dr Zaliha said due to the increase in cases of non-communicable diseases (NCD) cases, the ministry was facing an increase in the number of in- and out-patients in health facilities, causing overcrowding in hospitals.

"To reduce overcrowding in hospitals, we have implemented a pilot project led by the Special Task Force on Public Sector Reform (Star) which was also established under the supervision of the Chief Secretary to the Government.

"The Health Ministry is also intensifying its digitalisation efforts to reduce the workload of MoH members, in addition to implementing scheduling practices that can help ensure members have sufficient rest time between shifts, including giving leave to health workers," she said. - Bernama

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