I am a young government specialist who has been following the contract doctor issue closely and would like to bring this to your attention.
We are aware of the Hartal movement that plans to have a strike on July 1, 2021, which has since been postponed to July 26, due to the lack of direction and planning.
While I do not support a disorganised, uncoordinated strike, especially during this pandemic, I humbly seek your cooperation as we are at a turning point in the Malaysian health care system.
Understand: We need to understand and acknowledge the frustration of the contract doctors which has led to our present situation. I know many of the senior doctors (including your esteemed selves) have children who are also in the contract doctor system.
There are many contract doctors who have taken professional papers on their own, but are unable to specialise; some have given up and left the country in search of a better future.
The government (both past and present) has not been able to address these issues, and this complacency has led to the anger and frustration of many parties.
We also need to understand that this is more than just a doctor’s issue, fighting for equal salaries, permanent posts, etc. This is a national health care issue.
In five to 10 years from now, we will feel the effect of this current contract system. The void of specialists in the government sector will severely affect both the urban and rural health care system, which is already overstretched. Those of you in charge of hospitals in rural areas will understand exactly what I mean.
Unite: Dear directors – you are in a position to affect change and make a difference in this matter. The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has launched a solidarity movement called CodeBlackMY from July 1 to 12, culminating in the BlackMondayMY event on July 12. It involves changing pictures to black and white, wearing black, and appropriate posts on social media.
Many have confused it with the Hartal or strike movement (which it isn’t), but it is a peaceful, silent act of solidarity with our contract doctors. Everyone is to continue working as usual, especially during this pandemic.
Many are also fearful after the recent announcement by the Secretary-General that government doctors who criticise the government will be sacked. May I remind him that it is our duty to protect the welfare and health of the rakyat — and this is the main reason for the solidarity movement.
Thus, I urge all of you to unite, not only to reassure your staff that no disciplinary action will be taken, but to actively promote and endorse the CodeBlackMY and BlackMondayMY events.
For the sake of the country that we all love, I ask you to use your position and power wisely. I applaud the directors who have silently and verbally given their support. You know who you are, and thank you so much for making that difference. Malaysia needs you.
CodeBlue is publishing this letter anonymously due to the government’s gag order on civil servants.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.