We have not reached doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:400 — set by the Ministry of Health (MOH). As of 2018, we’re about 1:625. According to WHO, it’s 1:1,000 — so we’ve reached WHO’s target but not MOH’s.
What about other health care workers? According to WHO we have reached the target for nurses and pharmacists. Despite reaching the targets, we are still overworked, understaffed and underpaid.
Doctors earned about RM15/hour previously and now after the critical allowance has cut, it’s about RM12/hour and mind you, with the “new salary” of RM3,800, we’re now categorised as the B40 group — Urban Poor.
Health care workers spend their day and night, dealing with humans, sacrificing their youth, offering their service, most of the time did not fight for pay raise — and all we’re asking at the moment, is to reinstate the critical allowance.
Fine if you don’t want to do so. Perhaps increase our basic salary then. The system sees an overflow of doctors, but it’s only because of the limited number of placements available. Just see how many doctors work more than at least 12 hours per day? Shifts may be 8am to 5pm but trust me, they all work earlier and longer than that.
Our specialist numbers are also inadequate. Now that we’re in contract system, it is more difficult for us to specialise. No more Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan. We gotta use our own money to further our study. Do you really think RM3,800 will be enough?
Today, Malaysian’s health care might be number 1 in the world despite people going to Emergency for common cold, begging for medical certificates and not appreciating medicines despite paying only RM1.
Be prepared to see more deterioration of service over the next few years. Motivational levels will eventually reduce, number of specialists will be fewer (it is already lesser now), private hospitals will be more established — so just pay how much they want.
Many health care worker students are on financial aid, need to support family, need to thrive and survive. Health care workers are always going to put patients first because we know that we’re providing our service.
Therefore, strikes and protests from us are usually not going to be done physically. We care for our patients.
Malaysia’s GDP is US$354.35 billion as of 2018 — increases over the years but salaries have remained the same. Purchasing of properties is declining over the years because the costs have doubled or at least tripled over the last few years. More people are living on rent, but salary remains the same.
Oh, be prepared to see the younger ones fleeing the country and even if you beg them to stay, I don’t think that will happen. Malaysia’s population is aging — and you will need younger ones in the workforce.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.