PETALING JAYA: Mogok Doktor Malaysia (Malaysian Doctors on Strike) has asked those supporting the nationwide “Black Monday” contract doctors strike to change their social media profile pictures as a show of support to the movement - two years after another similar campaign by a different medical group.
“To support our movement, change your profile pictures to black or monochrome. For non-contract doctors, please go to work wearing black,” the movement said in a social media post Sunday (April 2).
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When contacted, a spokesman of the group, who only wanted to be known as Dr Jamal, warned that the public healthcare system may collapse.
“We expect to paralyse the public healthcare system from tomorrow onwards, and to encourage more and more medical officers to resign from the Health Ministry,” he said.
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He said the sections that will be most affected are the emergency department, labour room, outpatient department and health clinics, which has a high number of contract medical officers.
In 2021, there was a similar campaign, called Code Black, by the Malaysian Medical Association’s Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers and Specialists (Schomos), which was a protest against what was seen as an unfair contract MO system.
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However, this was solely a social media campaign and did not involve any demonstrations.
MMA Schomos’ Code Black campaign ran from July 1 to July 12, 2021 and culminated in a “Black Monday” on July 12, 2021 where the group requested supporters to change their personal profile pictures, company or institution logo to black or monochrome for the first 12 days of the campaign. Doctors were also told to work as usual, wearing black.
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Another group known as Hartal Doktor Kontrak staged a nationwide walkout on July 26 in the same year.
Mogok Doktor Malaysia’s strike - which will be held from April 3 to April 5 - is expected to see doctors taking emergency and medical leaves for the three-day period in a show of protest.
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The group also claimed there could be some 3,000 resignations in the month of April.
It is also learnt that leaves have been frozen and warnings have been issued against participating in the strike at some hospitals.
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Citing the Public Service Department’s circular dated June 30, 2011, the Health Ministry has also issued a warning on its Facebook page, stating that civil servants are barred from participating in any illegal assemblies.
It said that disciplinary action can be taken if there is enough evidence showing that a civil servant has participated in such activities.
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In response, Dr Jamal reiterated that this time, there will be no walkout or demonstration.
“We are not going for any demonstration or walkout this time, clearly MOH people don’t understand at all,” he said.
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“Mogok Doktor Malaysia wants what the majority want, which is a job strike, no more peace talks with the authorities that is considered a waste of time, with no improvement,” he said, while referring to the contract system that was introduced in 2016 to address the glut in medical graduates.