KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 – Fewer than two of 10 contract medical officers have been appointed to permanent positions in the public health service as of end 2022.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said 4,255 of 24,548 contract medical officers, or 17 per cent, were absorbed into permanent service as of December 31, 2022.
“The evaluation process for permanent appointments is implemented in an objective, fair, and transparent manner,” Dr Zaliha said in a written Dewan Rakyat reply to Batu Pahat MP Onn Abu Bakar yesterday.
“Officers will also be evaluated in terms of their values, integrity, ability for teamwork, and professionalism to be appointed as civil servants.
“If officers are not given permanent appointments, they still have the opportunity to apply to permanent positions when new vacancies arise – 1,500 new positions will soon be obtained, in line with the Cabinet’s January 19, 2022 decision, following the construction of new facilities or facility upgrades.”
For this year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has offered 4,263 permanent positions for contract medical officers who “fulfil the set appointment criteria”, Dr Zaliha said, without disclosing the selection criteria set by the Public Services Commission (SPA).
After the end of the application process last January 21, the permanent appointments of medical officers for 2023 are expected to complete by this July.
Dr Zaliha told a closed-door town hall meeting with doctors last month that the 4,914 vacancies in permanent positions for medical, dental, and pharmacy officers for this year had actually opened up because of the resignations of doctors, among other health care professionals, instead of new positions being created for the health service.