Senator urges doctors to call off strike

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 02 Apr 2023

GEORGE TOWN: Contract doctors should call off their planned strike because the Health Ministry is doing its best to handle the issue, says senator Dr RA Lingeshwaran.

The former Sungai Bakap Hospital director said that the current government should be given time and space to handle the longstanding issue.

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"As a healthcare practitioner myself and someone who has risen from the civil service, I understand the pain and sacrifices of junior doctors," said Dr Lingeshwaran in a statement on Sunday (April 2).

Lingeshwaran was appointed as a Dewan Negara senator in March.

"After the debate on Budget 2023 in the Dewan Negara on March 29, we managed to meet Health Ministry officials, where we touched on the longstanding issue of contract doctors being absorbed in the system as permanent staff,” said Dr Lingeshwaran.

"We are well aware of the continuous engagement and persistent effort by the Health Minister and her team in negotiating with the Public Services Department on this issue,” he added, speaking about the planned doctors’ strike set for next week.

ALSO READ: Mogok Doktor Malaysia told to be mindful of consequences over threat to strike

Dr Lingeshwaran said the recent initiative for the allocation of RM3bil to appoint 1,500 medical officers, dental and pharmacy officers to permanent positions is a clear indication that the government is sincere in solving the woes of contract doctors.

"The core business of healthcare involve the lives of the people and it is a safety net for all who have no access to private healthcare services,” he said.

"Therefore in view of the situation I appeal to all doctors who have taken the Hippocratic Oath with me to hold off the three-day planned strike,” added Dr Lingeshwaran.

The 'Mogok Doktor Malaysia' Instagram page recently claimed that more than 8,000 contract doctors would go on a job strike to protest 'unfair systems' and 'low wages'.

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