Dr Zaliha: Special committee to be formed to address contract doctors issue

PETALING JAYA: A high-level committee to handle the contract doctor issue will be formed, says the Health Ministry, as it underscores that protests are not the best way to solve issues in the medical field.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic) said the Cabinet in a meeting on Friday (March 31) had agreed to establish the high level committee which would combine several Ministries and agencies including the Chief Secretary to the Government.

This is to deal with issues related to contract doctors which have been making rounds on social media and mainstream media, said Dr Zaliha in a statement on Saturday (April 1).

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

Dr Zaliha also noted there had been news on social media claiming that contract doctors would be going on strike on Monday to Wednesday (April 3 to April 5).

"For now the Health Ministry has no further information on the strike. The Health Ministry believes that a strike is not the best solution to any problem that arises relating to the profession of medical officers or any other professional schemes.

"On the other hand, this matter needs to be weighed carefully," she said, adding that this was because health services were critical services especially as it involved human lives and people’s well-being.

ALSO READ: Group threatens major contract doctors’ strike

Dr Zaliha added that the contract doctor issue was long running and had been inherited by the previous administration since the contract doctor system was introduced in 2016 to overcome the glut of medical graduates in Malaysia.

However, the Health Ministry had from time to time acted according to the issues and problems raised by members of the medical fraternity, she said.

Among them included creating permanent posts, providing sponsorship of specialist training or advanced training, offering time-based promotions, promotion opportunities to special grades and also the creation of UD56 grades for medical experts, among others.

Other health schemes too were taken care of and improved, she said.

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

"The Health Ministry is always aware of the problems as well as the demands raised and has ensured that these are examined in accordance with current issues as well given appropriate solutions based on the economic ability of the country.

"Therefore, the Health Ministry would like to emphasise that a strike is not the best solution and any problems that arise must be addressed through mutual involvement in a more professional and prudent manner.

"A civil servant, whether in a permanent position or contract, is subject to public servant integrity and the Public Services Ethics," she added.

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