Healthcare workers’ protest debated in Dewan Rakyat, RM1.2 billion for extending contracts of 14,000 staff – Minister Tengku Zafrul

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KUALA LUMPUR JULY 26: The issue of hundreds of healthcare workers nationwide that have bravely taken the action to protest for not given the opportunity to be permanent staff in the government hospitals had been debated in the special meeting at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH Port Dickson) during the debate session has urged the government to take the issue seriously as the contract doctors have deligently perform their duties like the permanent doctors.

Anwar said, the contract doctors have been working laboriously and this situation should not be ignored until the doctors have to resort to hartals (mass protest) and legal actions.

“The issue plaguing the capability of the health system and the readiness of the frontline workers in facing this pandemic needed to be resolved soon,” said Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) as reported by Bernama today.

Jalaluddin then urged the government to give priority to resolve the issue as healthcare workers, including contract workers are heavily burdened following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Meanwhile Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH Permatang Pauh) wanted the government to use the “Hartal Doktor Kontrak” walkout to resolve the issue and implement plans to reform the health system.

She hopes the government will not take any action against the doctors who joined the protest but instead settle it nicely.

On another development, Finance Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz told Dewan Rakyat today that the government has agreed to extend the contracts of about 14,000 medical doctors, dentists and pharmacists for a period of two years or 7,000 per cohort/year.

Tengku Zafrul said, the extention of contracts will have a financial impact amounting to RM1.2 billion.

“This is a follow-up to the government’s decision for contract appointed medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists to be offered contractual appointments for two years after completing the compulsory service period to ensure continuity of service and preparation for specialist studies.

“The government is very concerned about the demands of the contract status health workers group and is aware of their contribution and role as front liners in providing the best health services to the people especially in the COVID-19 pandemic situation,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Tengku Zafrul added, medical and dental officers, who were accepted to pursue specialist studies during the first two year contract period, would then be given a further contract for a maximum period of four years.

The Finance Minster also mentioned that the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had instructed the Health Ministry to come up with a comprehensive and inclusive plan for immediate action, short term, medium and long term plans for the medical services. –Malaysia World News

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