KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The 79 medical officers who were given six-month contracts this year can now apply for contract extensions or permanent posts, an SUPP lawmaker said today.
Bintangor assemblyman Ding Kuong Hiing, who is also chairman of the SUPP education bureau, claimed the Ministry of Health (MOH) has assured the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) that the government was considering extended contracts for medical officers planning to specialise, who will be tied to a bond with MOH.
He added that the six-month contracts offered to the 79 junior doctors this year originally stated that it was only a “one-off offer”, but MOH would later announce details on the mechanism for medical officers to apply for subsequent renewals.
“However, SUPP Education Bureau is very disappointed that it has not heard any news on requests regarding priorities be given to post Sarawakian/ Sabahan MOs (medical officers) to hospitals in their home states.
“SUPP Education Bureau hereby strongly urges all MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to continue to fight for this reasonable request which is in line with the Borneonisation stipulated under MA 1963,” Ding said in a statement.
Ding — who heads a newly formed bipartisan group called Malaysian Junior Doctors 2020 to lobby for permanent posts in the public sector for medical officers — said previously that Sarawakian doctors received less than 10 per cent of 100 permanent posts created in Sarawak hospitals last January.
He also said today that the current Master’s degree system with a full scholarship for doctors may not continue to be fully subsidised by the government in future.
“The reality is that specialist training is an investment of doctors who, in future, may have to bear personally some of the fees incurred in the training,” Ding said.
“The new mechanism for the extended contracts is being worked on. This may become the norm that in future all medical officers will be engaged on contracts only, while permanent positions will be reserved only for qualified specialists and consultants.”
MOH, he said, is also working to raise the salaries of contract medical officers by promoting them from the UD41 civil service grade to UD43.
“Additional funding needed by the MOH was being discussed in the said meeting and it is now at the levels of the Public Service Department and the Ministry of Finance now. Hopefully, it is a closure to this issue soon.”