KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) is relocating an additional 1,912 health workers, following the Public Service Commission’s (SPA) approval last month.
The 1,912 health workers selected for the latest round of relocations include 1,226 medical officers, 216 dental officers, and 470 pharmacy officers, the MOH said in a statement today.
This comes on top of the highly disruptive nationwide relocation of over 4,000 medical officers in July.
As in previous processes, all candidates who have been offered permanent positions will select their placements online through an e-placement system.
However, due to “limited vacancies” in the Klang Valley and other regions, the MOH said candidates, including spouses, can choose placements in rural and remote areas across Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak. This choice offers cost-of-living incentives and diverse work experiences, the ministry added.
Candidates are required to access the e-placement system and make their placement selections within the specified period. Permanent appointment offers will be revoked if no placement selections are made in the e-placement system.
The placement selection dates are as follows:
Medical Officers (e-Housemen)
- Session 1: October 9 – 11, 2023
- Session 2: October 12 – 14, 2023
Dental Officers (e-Dentist)
- Session 1: October 9 – 11, 2023
Pharmacy Officers (e-Pharmacist)
- Session 1: October 16 – 19, 2023
Candidates will also need to check the placement selection dates through their registered email on the SPA9 recruitment portal during the permanent appointment application process and prepare accordingly.
The MOH is also providing a channel for appeals through Google Form, allowing candidates, especially those pursuing specialised studies, living apart from their spouses, or facing serious health issues, to submit an appeal within the specified period.
The appeal dates and links are as follows:
- October 9, 2023 – October 20, 2023
- October 9, 2023 – October 18, 2023
- October 16, 2023 – October 25, 2023
For candidates with serious health issues, cross-checking will be conducted based on health examination reports submitted in the MySTP system to confirm their health status and level.
Appeals submitted after the appeal deadline will not be considered by the Placement Appeal Committee to ensure timely notification of appeal outcomes and avoid disruptions to the reporting for duty preparations.
Candidates will receive placement notifications from the Ministry of Health facilities starting from November 14. The effective date of permanent appointment is December 18.
However, any candidates granted deferrals by their new department heads will have their appointment effective dates changed according to the newly approved dates. Candidates will remain on contract status during the deferral period.
To recap, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced plans in April to provide permanent positions for 12,800 contract doctors within three years. Anwar, who is also finance minister, said that the government allocated RM1.7 billion for hiring additional contract doctors.
The MOH previously revealed that 4,914 permanent positions would be made available for health care workers this year, a 17 per cent increase from the 4,186 positions created in 2022.
During a town hall meeting with doctors in February, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa clarified that the over 4,900 new permanent positions for medical, dental, and pharmacy officers this year had become available due to resignations, indicating that not all of them are newly created positions within the public health service.
Out of the 4,914 vacancies in permanent positions for this year, 4,263 were for medical officers.
In the MOH’s permanent appointment exercise on July 31, around 4,200 doctors were involved, with 1,843 total appeals made during the mass relocation exercise. The MOH approved only 332 medical officer appeals, which accounts for only 20 per cent of the total appeals.
It is possible that some individuals whose appeals were denied opted to decline the permanent offers and remain in their current workplaces.
In July, CodeBlue ran a series of stories detailing the impact of the massive relocation exercise on major public hospitals in Melaka and the Klang Valley — notably at HKL’s emergency department and Selayang Hospital’s obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) department — where staff shortages could lead to potential resignations, longer wait times, suboptimal care, and possibly endangering patients’ lives.
CodeBlue also reported that some young doctors in their early 30s resorted to pawning gold and withdrawing from their Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) accounts to fund their relocation from the Klang Valley to Sabah.
More than 1,000 medical officers received placements in Sabah and Sarawak collectively during the MOH’s permanent appointment exercise last July 31 involving more than 4,000 doctors nationwide – at the expense of central states like Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya that suffered net losses of more than 100 doctors each.
The contract medical, dental, and pharmacy officers taking up permanent positions this year were not eligible for transfer claims because their permanent appointments took effect on the same date for reporting for duty at their new placement.
Last week, CodeBlue reported complaints from Selayang Hospital medical officers about increasingly frequent verbal abuse from patients’ accompanying relatives at the understaffed emergency department, including one case that led to a staff member filing a police report against a patient’s accompanying family member earlier this month.