PM must give assurance on resolving contract doctors’ problem – Kit Siang

For illustration purpose. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need to upgrade the health system in the country and this aspect should be taken into consideration by the high-level Cabinet committee formed to resolve the issue of contract doctors, says DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.
File photo of Lim Kit Siang

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 – DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to give an assurance that that the high-level committee, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, will be given a year to resolve the long-standing problem of contract doctors.

In a statement issued today, Kit Siang also called upon the prime minister to ask the Mogok Doctor Malaysia activists to come out into the open with the undertaking that none of them will be penalised.

Zahid had urged government contract doctors to give him and the high-level committee set up by the Cabinet last week the chance to solve their woes. The committee involves not only the Health Ministry but also other agencies including the Public Service Department, the Public Service Commission and several others.

Zahid was reported saying that discussions will be held to finalise a new scheme, which has to be developed so that the contract doctors can be helped via government service schemes.

Kit Siang said Anwar’s assurance on this should come during the Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

He added that the Member of Parliament for Tuaran, Madius Tangau had a question on contract doctors, whereby he wanted to know the total number of medical officers on contract under the public services and the financial implication involved if all these contract doctors are absorbed in the service and subsequently given permanent employment .

The problem of the contract doctors was inherited from a previous government when it was introduced in 2016 – when the country was faced with a deluge of medical graduates in the job market, Kit Siang said.

“The government should be sensitive to the voices of healthcare workers and ensure that all the concerns raised are solved, including creating permanent positions, sponsoring the studies of doctors, having time-based promotions, as well as creating the opportunity for promotions to a special grade.

“I endorse the stand of the DAPSY leader and MP for Bandar Kuching, Kelvin Yii that the substantial demands put forth by Mogok Doctor Malaysia on behalf of contract doctors should not be ignored but should be given serious consideration.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need to  upgrade the health system in the country and this aspect should be taken into consideration by the high-level Cabinet committee.”