PETALING JAYA: Thousands of government medical contract workers, including contract doctors, have planned to go on strike nationwide on Monday (July 26), while Coronovirus is gripping the country with over 15,000 daily cases and dozens of deaths registered in the past two days.
The protest organizers insisted that the strike will still go on even though on Friday (July 23) Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government agreed to provide contract medical officers, dentists and pharmacists career opportunities on par with permanent medical officers, besides other benefits such as fully paid study leave.
But the group is demanding for permanent positions for all government contract workers at present.
MMA president Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy thanked the government for offering contract workers a two-year contract extension, but urged for a long-term solution, saying the two year contract extension is welcomed as a short-term measure, but it is not a solution to the ongoing problem.
Dr Umar Baraka from a group of contract doctors called “Hartal Doktor Kontrak”, announced that the protest will take place on Monday (26 July) beginning 11am, which he claimed will involve contract doctors from major hospitals nationwide, particularly Selangor.
“We will pass over (shifts) to our permanent colleagues and we will go home en masse. We will show that our numbers are huge,” he said.
However, according to The Star, Dr Umar said if there aren’t enough staff members or if there is an emergency situation, then these contract workers must return to work immediately.
“If patients are not stable, we will return to work. We will show that we are really concerned over this issue and many of us are the backbone of frontliners during this pandemic.
“We represent 23,000 frontliners. If we are not treated fairly, it will be a problem,” he added.
According to the organizers, they estimated that between 4,000 to 5,000 contract medical officers would go on strike on Monday nationwide.
“Many of us are burnt out and we must show the government that it must do something.
“If doctors are not given the opportunity to advance in the field they wish to specialise in, then we will be short of specialists and our public healthcare system will be unsustainable,” he said