Govt should set milestones for solving contract doctor issues, says MMA


PETALING JAYA: The Government's commitment to resolve issues faced by contract doctors within three years is welcomed but there milestones should be defined towards achieving this, says the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

The MMA's statement issued on Friday (March 31) is as follows:

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Three years to resolve issues of contract doctors welcomed but govt should set milestones to achieving it

THE Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) wishes to thank the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) for his stated commitment to resolving the issues of contract doctors in three years.

However, the Government should set a timeline with milestones to achieve it for affected doctors. It will take some convincing for the contract doctors to believe that a breakthrough is possible for them to obtain permanent posts.

More resignations can also be expected in the meantime as some contract doctors may not be willing to wait another three years.

Apart from the lack of permanent posts, there are many other issues that are causing frustration among the public health care workforce which the government should focus on resolving now. Some of the issues do not even require financial commitment to resolve such as ensuring more reasonable working hours for a work life balance, transparency in the selection criteria for permanent posts, and ensuring a proper career pathway.

The work environment can also be improved by eliminating bullying. We had proposed that the department heads at public health care facilities be made responsible for any issues of bullying in their department as one of the measures. These were among steps proposed by MMA which can be implemented almost immediately.

We understand that securing permanent positions will require a significant, long term financial commitment from the government but for now, the government can go ahead with the more easily attainable measures.

All the issues along with solutions have been brought up during our townhall session with the Health Minister and we await the ministry's response. We hope the Prime Minister had been briefed on the issues and the many solutions that the MMA had proposed during the townhall with the Health Ministry.

The MMA had in fact written to the Prime Minister's office to meet with him and brief him first hand on the issues but was referred to the Health Minister. We appreciate having met with the Health Minister on a number of occasions however it is important that the Prime Minister as the leader of the nation be made aware of the magnitude of the issues in our public health care system and its far-reaching impact on the delivery of health care for the population. These problems we are being faced with are systemic and are the result of failed policies of the past.

Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai,

President,

Malaysian Medical Association

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