KUCHING, Nov 10: There is an urgent need for the Health Ministry to consider giving fairer terms to temporary medical personnel.
In making the call to address the issue, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the country is at risk of losing out on reaching the targeted ratio of doctors to patients especially in the public service where many hospitals and clinics are still in dire need of doctors.
Dr Yii also disagree with the upward mobility direction as he believed even those on temporary contracts should be given the chance to apply for Masters program.
“Since their workload and job are similar to those on permanent employment, they should be provided a path of upward mobility as well for Masters program rather than based on the perception that temporary contracts are less competent than those under permanent employment.
“While i am not discounting the fact that may be true (if employment based on performance of housemanship), it does not mean that within the temporary contract period, one cannot improved their work ethics and competency to be on par or even better than those on permanent employment,” said Dr Yii in a statement today.
On equitable remuneration or salary for contract doctors, Dr Yii also urged the ministry to consider some kind of critical allowance or remuneration as they have the same workload with those on permanent employment and at the same time, to appreciate their hard work.
“While i understand the limitations and that this is not just an issue of funding, but a complex web of placing, training, medical schools, availability of positions and lack of specialist, I disagree with some of the directions the ministry took especially in terms of treatment and upward mobility for these young doctors,” he said.
He also pressed the ministry to be transparent when it comes to selection for permanent employment.
“While I observed majority of the complaints are focused on the differences of salary, which is also important, I think the more important significant issue that we need address is actually the intake or criteria of selection which have not been the most transparent. I was told, it is highly subjective even on the location of training,” he lamented.
Recently in Parliament Dr Yii had requested for a breakdown of percentage of acceptance for permanent contract based on each state and social demographic in order to get a better picture and remove any perception of favouritism, discrimination and “strings pulling” stunt.
He strongly believe the criteria for selection should be based on the performance of the house officer during the two years of training and perhaps a discussion to have a proper common examination that covers not just theoretical knowledge, but also clinical competency to select the best in region to promote greater fairness in selection. — DayakDaily