KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Sarawak’s SUPP today opposed the government’s offer of a six-month contract renewal to young doctors, pharmacists, and dentists, calling for a minimum five-year extension instead.
The Sarawakian party’s education bureau pointed out that even foreign labourers or domestic workers in Malaysia get two-year contracts.
“With a contract lasting only six months, where is their future with the MOH (Ministry of Health)?
“Parents have told us that the MOH is just making use of these young 1,139 pharmacists, 852 DOs (dental officers) and 79 MOs (medical officers) like disposable pampers and tissue papers. The six-month contract is tantamount to ‘one use’ usage only,” SUPP Education Bureau chairman Ding Kuong Hiing, who is also Meradong assemblyman, said in a statement.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba announced yesterday a six-month contract extension for government doctors, pharmacists, and dentists, whose service ended late last year or is due for termination this year.
The contract renewals involved 1,139 pharmacy officers on the UF41 civil service grade, 852 UG41 dental officers, and 79 UD41 medical officers. Dr Adham said that the extensions were made to help MOH tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Parents have told our Bureau that the MOH is really treating the frontliners who are its staff like dirt. Young MOs are the future of the medical fraternity of our country.
“They are the medical specialists in the making. Malaysia faces a shortage of medical specialists and in years to come our country needs them to serve the country,” Ding said in response.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has similarly criticised the six-month contract extensions for public health care professionals, labelling it as a mere “stop-gap” measure that would not help doctors who intend to pursue specialist study.
“While I am sure they are more than willing to serve our nation during this pandemic as it is the core of the oath that we all take, but it may not be really fair and equitable to demand this from our health care workers without giving them proper security of tenure, especially in appreciation of their efforts and sacrifice,” the DAP lawmaker said, adding that more permanent posts should be created instead.