Backdate Contract Doctors’ Relocation Allowances To Cover July Transfers: MMA

MMA wants the government to backdate contract doctors’ eligibility for interstate transfer claims to Jan 2023 to cover the cohort in the July placement exercise, as many resorted to taking up loans to cover the cost of their relocation in short notice.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged the government to backdate contract doctors’ eligibility for the interstate transfer allowance to the cohort transferred last July.

CodeBlue reported that a Public Service Department (JPA) circular expanded eligibility to claim for interstate transfer expenses beyond permanent officers to temporary and contract staff, effective last October 9.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Public Service Department (JPA) for allowing contract doctors and temporary status doctors to enjoy benefits of allowance that was initially only given to doctors with permanent positions,” MMA said in a statement.

“However, MMA appeals to the government to demonstrate goodwill by backdating the allowance to January 2023 to allow contract doctors from the July placement exercise to claim for relocation expenses incurred.

“Many of the doctors from this cohort had to relocate to another state and report for duty at short notice and this had resulted in them being met with unexpected extra relocation expenses.

“A number of these doctors did not have the funds available and had to resort to taking up loans to facilitate transfer to their new location.”

The JPA’s decision to only open up interstate transfer claims to contract staff from last October 9 means that those among the 4,100 over medical officers, plus more than 300 dental officers and over 300 pharmacy officers who relocated for permanent appointments last July 31, are not eligible to claim for their transfer expenses.

However, JPA’s new policy benefits some 1,900 reserve candidates among contract medical, dental, and pharmacy officers in the MOH’s placement exercise this month for permanent appointments that will take effect on December 18, the same date as reporting for duty.

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