MP: Open Master’s To Contract Officers For Shot At Permanent MOH Posts

Dr Kelvin Yii also wants a review of the SKT evaluation system for government doctors.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 – Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii called for postgraduate training programmes to be open to all medical officers, including contract staff who are currently prohibited from doing their Master’s.

The DAP lawmaker also suggested that a Master’s degree be made a requirement for permanent employment in the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“I recommended that an acceptance into the Master programme be a criteria for full employment, so that those on contract have something tangible to work not only to be a specialist, but also to get full employment,” Dr Yii said in a statement about a parliament debate he made on the problems faced by contract health professionals in the government, including medical officers, pharmacists, and dentists.

He acknowledged that MOH has done much in trying to address the problems of contract health officers, but called on the Education Ministry and the Public Service Department (JPA) to also open up more positions to address the understaffing, underfunding, and overcrowding of government hospitals.

Dr Yii discussed three main areas that need immediate action: reviewing the government doctors’ evaluation system, upgrading the pay grade of contract health officers, and opening postgraduate programmes to all.

“I asked for review and study of the current SKT (Sasaran Kerja Tahunan) evaluation system to make sure it is more transparent, fairer, without discrimination or favouritism, or even reduce risk of appointment based on ‘who you know’,” he added.

“I am in not any way questioning the integrity or professionalism of the superiors, but it is important to make the evaluation as transparent as possible to remove any perception of discrimination. If selection criteria is fair, then many of this dissatisfaction can be addressed.”

A recent survey conducted in a Facebook group of over 16,000 Malaysian doctors revealed that most respondents felt the SKT evaluation system was unfair, opaque, and open to abuse.

Furthermore, Dr Yii joined the call on upgrading the pay grade of contract medical officers who were continued on housemen’s UD41 grade, compared to their permanent counterparts who were promoted to UD43 with a bigger salary and more benefits.

“I urged that at least, they be upgraded to UD43 and other incentives given to reduce the salary difference especially since they have same workload. there shouldn’t be different class of healthcare professionals.”

According to Dr Yii, Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye told Parliament that the government would cover contract medical officers in clinical negligence cases and provide medical treatment for injury or accidents suffered during the course of duty.

“He also reacted positively to suggestion of Master’s programme being open up for even those under contract, although we understand the limitations on that as it will also require a policy decision by JPA to do so.”

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