KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Medical officers are notified of their duty transfers one month in advance of their reporting date, according to Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.
In Dr Zaliha’s written Dewan Negara reply last Thursday to Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew, the health minister stated that officers are given a one-month notice to enable them to make preparations before they are required to report for duty.
Lau asked the health minister to state the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) strategy to enhance the placement system for medical officers, which currently involves last-minute relocations.
“The notification of the decision on the placement of the officer is usually given one month before the effective reporting date at the new location to give time and space for the officer to make preparations.
“With the placement of this medical officer, health services can be delivered more efficiently and effectively,” said Dr Zaliha in her written reply to the Dewan Negara on April 6.
She added that officers who are directed to transfer are entitled to receive certain types of allowances and benefits. “These include travel fare, freight fare, meal allowances, and hotel room claims for three days before and five days after the relocation, as well as other facilities stipulated in the Treasury Circular WP 1.2,” Dr Zaliha said.
The health minister said the MOH is open to receiving feedback from officers to improve the placement system. “Officers can also give their cooperation by contacting the state health department involved, if they need clarification and help.”
Earlier in February, The Star reported the experience of a medical officer who had been asked to report for duty the next day after having been given a very short transfer notice.
The medical officer, who had to relocate their entire life from Pahang to Kedah, tweeted that they had to further downsize their life into a few luggage bags to fly to Kuching, Sarawak, only to be given a placement three to four hours away and told to report for duty the “very next day”.
The tweet has since been deleted after it went viral.
Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai admonished the government and called for it to take full responsibility and compensate medical officers for the inconvenience caused by last-minute postings.