KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — The Cabinet has supported the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) proposal to promote contract medical, pharmacy and dental officers from the UD41 civil service grade to their permanent counterparts’ UD43.
According to MOH’s Twitter account, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the Cabinet has given approval to MOH to take the next steps, amid uproar from contract government junior doctors angered about their smaller salaries and fewer benefits compared to their permanent counterparts.
Over 19,000 people have signed an online petition to demand fair wages and equal opportunity in postgraduate training for contract medical officers, claiming that UD41 medical officers suffered a basic salary differential of RM664 monthly compared to their higher-paid UD44/43 permanent counterparts, which equalled RM7,968 a year, excluding yearly increments. UD41 housemen also enjoy an RM600 flexi allowance that contract medical officers do not receive.
Dzulkefly announced recently that MOH could no longer guarantee permanent employment to medical officers, who may be reappointed on contract to serve the government for a mandatory two years instead. These junior doctors were told that after their compulsory service with MOH, they could seek jobs in public university hospitals or in the private sector.
MOH also previously announced that all contract medical officers would continue their two-year mandatory service on housemen’s UD41 civil service grade, instead of being promoted like their permanent counterparts to UD43/44 that comes with a bigger salary.
Contract medical officers are also unable to pursue their Master’s to be specialists because three years’ experience in a permanent medical officer post is required.