PUTRAJAYA, March 14 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) is reviewing claims made by health care workers at government health clinics (klinik kesihatan) who have said that they are not receiving full compensation for working during extended operating hours.
When asked by CodeBlue today, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa briefly commented that the matter is currently being “refined” with the Public Service Department (JPA).
“We have taken note of the matter, and we have conducted discussions with JPA, especially, and we will look into this matter in detail, and refine it,” Dr Zaliha told reporters after launching the Tropical Infectious Disease Conference 2023 here today.
Claims of inadequate compensation for extended operating hours at klinik kesihatan have surfaced on social media, with health care workers stating that they are unable to receive payment for working beyond 9pm on weekdays.
MOH last Friday tweeted a list of 52 klinik kesihatan in 14 states and federal territories – except Terengganu and Labuan – that will mostly operate extended hours from 5pm to 9.30pm from Mondays on weekdays and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays, to reduce congestion in the emergency departments in public hospitals.
In Perlis, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Sabah, Penang, and Melaka, weekdays are from Monday to Friday, while in Kedah, Johor, and Kelantan, Sundays to Thursdays are considered weekdays.
Additionally, only three public health clinics in Kuching, Bintulu, and Sibu in Sarawak offer extended hours, which are only available on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm.
Extended hours at klinik kesihatan was among Dr Zaliha’s seven measures to reduce overcrowding in emergency rooms.
In a report last month, CodeBlue cited a circular dated February 10, 2023, by Health deputy director-general Dr Norhayati Rusli (public health), stating that the JPA had directed the MOH to discontinue extended hours at public health clinics on Sundays and public holidays, as staff cannot receive compensation for these services.