Government Taking Advantage Of Health Workers, Say Public Health Physicians

Ending the critical allowance can spark a national health care crisis, says PPPKAM.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The government is seen as taking advantage of overworked government health care professionals by eliminating their critical allowance, a public health group said today.

The Malaysian Public Health Physicians’ Association (PPPKAM) pointed out that public health workers laboured in unconducive work environments and in the interiors to deliver the best care to the people, despite a lack of staff and resources.

“The decision to stop the allowance is seen as reactive, lacking strategic planning, regressive, and a stop-gap solution,” PPPKAM president Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said in a statement.

“Ending this critical allowance can spark a national health care crisis and a crisis of public trust in the government.”

PPPKAM demanded for either a review of the repeal of the Critical Service Incentive Payment (BIPK) for new health workers like doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and medical assistants, as well as other professional civil servants appointed from January 1, 2020, or to create new incentives specially for medical and health staff.

“It’s time that the government made a brave and appropriate decision in tackling current and future issues and challenges in the national health care system,” said Dr Zainal Ariffin.

“A smart government will implement comprehensive health system reforms by setting up a national health financing system, integrate private and public services, and create an autonomous national health service commission.”

After widespread protests from health care professionals, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today announced that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has decided to postpone abolishing the critical allowance for all affected incoming civil servants across 33 Critical Service schemes.

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