Doctor Relocations Triggering Imminent Crisis In Public Health Care System — Hartal Doktor Kontrak

HDK warns of an imminent crisis in the public health care system triggered by severe staff shortages, following the relocation of some 4,000 contract doctors by end July after they received permanent positions. “This is not an abstract scenario”.

Hartal Doktor Kontrak (HDK), a leading advocate for the welfare of junior doctors and the advancement of Malaysia’s health care, calls for immediate action as a potentially devastating situation is set to unfold within our health care sector.

The recent decision to grant permanent placements to nearly 4,000 contract doctors, while a commendable step towards job security, sets the stage for a critical health care crisis. As these doctors transition and relocate by the end of July 2023, an alarming void will materialise in the many departments, hospitals, and clinics they have diligently served.

The projected shortage of medical personnel during this transitional period will likely lead to a significant increase in waiting times at emergency departments and clinics. Essential services are at risk of being drastically impaired. Elective cases could be postponed indefinitely due to the severe shortage of manpower.

The gravity of this situation is stark: a shortage of doctors can lead to delayed diagnoses, prolonged suffering, and an unnecessary increase in avoidable fatalities. This is not an abstract scenario; it is a crisis that threatens every citizen who relies on our public health care system.

To our health care professionals who will bear the brunt of this crisis, HDK stands firmly by your side, ready to support and advocate for your rights and welfare. We recognise and deeply appreciate your selfless commitment to the public welfare.

In response to this dire situation, we propose the establishment of a National Health Services Commission. This entity will be responsible for the effective management of human resources, staffing, training, and career progression of our health care professionals.

It is abundantly clear that the management of health care workers should no longer fall under the Public Service Department (JPA), which appears to lack an understanding of the unique demands and challenges within the health care sector.

With the current government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim commanding a two-thirds majority in Parliament, there is an unprecedented opportunity to establish this Commission swiftly. We urge the government and all parliamentarians, irrespective of their party affiliations, to support this initiative.

To the heads of departments, hospital directors, and clinic managers, we urge you to prioritise the welfare of your subordinates. Be leaders of compassion, understanding the strain your teams are under while striving to maintain functional services.

The gravity of this situation demands urgent intervention and cooperation from all ministries, government agencies, and the private sector. Any delay in addressing this pressing issue could lead to catastrophic consequences for our health care system.

Hartal Doktor Kontrak implores the government and those with authority to act without delay to prevent this impending crisis. Our public health care system’s stability, the wellbeing of our medical professionals, and, most importantly, the health of our nation’s citizens hang in the balance.

HDK remains steadfast in its commitment to advocate for the rights and welfare of junior doctors and to ensure the delivery of quality health care to all Malaysians.

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