PETALING JAYA: MCA has urged the Health Ministry to promptly clarify a recent directive requiring over 1,000 contract doctors to resign from their original departments before accepting permanent positions offered by the government.
MCA vice president Datuk Lawrence Low said this unprecedented policy had raised concerns among medical personnel and needed immediate attention.
In a statement on Friday (Dec 8), he said the rationale behind the ministry's decision was unclear.
Furthermore, he added that questions had been raised regarding the impact of this directive on their existing years of service, eligibility for specialist training and study leave.
Low stressed that Malaysia's healthcare system faced numerous challenges over the years, including unfair treatment in the career development and welfare of contract doctors and issues related to workplace bullying.
"This recent decision raises further concerns among medical personnel, and we hope that the Health Ministry will address and explain this matter transparently.
"Let us not forget that doctors and healthcare workers are the backbone of our society. As frontliners, they risk their lives to keep us safe and healthy.
"Any potential collapse of the medical system cannot be ignored. The government is urged to ensure that the rights of healthcare professionals are adequately protected," he said.
He highlighted the ongoing departure of medical staff from government hospitals, a longstanding issue that threatened the nation's healthcare system.
"If not addressed, the impact on healthcare delivery could be detrimental, directly affecting public well-being," he said.
He stressed that transparency was needed to maintain confidence in the public healthcare system.
"MCA urges the ministry to quickly explain the decision and shed light on the underlying considerations.
"Recognising the substantial contributions of medical personnel to the nation's healthcare and ensuring they receive the respect and protection they deserve while delivering optimal service to the public is imperative," he added.