KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 – Medical officers may be on contract during their entire two-year mandatory service with the government if they fail to get a permanent appointment, said Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.
Contract junior doctors currently cannot do their Master’s to get into specialisation, due to a government requirement that medical officers hold a permanent position for three years.
“Beginning October 21, 2019, housemen Grade UD41 (contract) who have completed graduate training and are fully registered will be relocated to a new placement for compulsory service without having to wait for the appointment of a permanent appointment or contract re-appointment to complete,” Dzulkefly said in a parliament reply yesterday.
Medical officers’ new placements in Ministry of Health (MOH) facilities will be implemented through the Placement and Exchange Committee based on the importance of service.
“If an officer is appointed, the placement of the employee will be adjusted based on the vacancy.
“For those who have not been able to get a permanent appointment, they will continue the contract until the end of compulsory service. The decision of a permanent appointment or contract will be notified within three months before the first contract expires,” he further added.
Dzulkefly told Bagan Serai MP Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali that contract medical officers who complete their mandatory service in MOH without getting a permanent appointment can seek work in other government agencies like public university hospitals, the private sector, and health care companies like private medical labs and pharmaceutical companies.
“Following the increase in the number of graduates, the government is unable to provide sufficient job opportunities to graduates because vacancies are solely created based on the needs of medical facilities.”
CodeBlue broke the news last month that effective October 21, medical officers will be placed in whichever government facility with a need and vacancy for their desired practice immediately after completing their housemanship, with permanent appointments made later during their service.
As junior doctors serve a compulsory two years as medical officers in government clinics or hospitals, their permanent appointment offers will be processed later sometime during their service and backdated to the date they began their housemanship.
So, these medical officers will be immediately confirmed as UD44 grade, up from UD41 as contract housemen, and enjoy the benefits of that permanent position without having to wait for another three years.
Dzulkefly also told Parliament that as of August 31 this year, 15,246 UD41 medical officers have been appointed on contract since 2016, 4,202 UD41 medical officers were appointed on contract this year, and 2,151 medical graduates who are waiting for housemanship slots will be placed between November and February 2020.
“For your information, housemen training hospitals have 12,033 housemanship slots, all of which have been completely filled by housemen. Those positions will only be vacant once the housemen finish their training.”