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KUCHING, March 25: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been urged to immediately clarify whether the 22,000 contract medical officers (MOs) who were upgraded from grade UD41 to UD43 over the past week will receive any salary increment or not.
Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii has raised this issue following news report that the current pay of UD41 contract MO was higher (RM3,622) than the starting pay of UD43 contract MO (RM3,611).
“This gives fear that there is no increment (for UD43) which is unfair and unjust to our young medical doctors,” he said in a statement today.
Explaining that it was Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s decision to promote these contract MO from UD41 to UD43 in November 2019, Yii however criticised that Perikatan Nasional (PN) government was slow to implement it as it only came into effect recently.
But more importantly, he emphasised the concerns that these promoted MOs did not receive any raise must be clarified and addressed immediately as the nation must continue to fight for the better welfare and recognised their professionalism in order to retain them in the public service where more than 70 per cent of the population sought treatments.
“If true, this is a clear injustice to our young medical officers and a mockery to show our appreciation for playing a huge part part in our nation’s effort against Covid-19.
“If not, we risk losing more of them to the private sector or even increased the brain drain in our country,” he added.
Yii also urged the government to outline a long-term plan to address this contract issue such as extending the duration of the contract so as to allow the officers to apply and finish their specialisation programme through “parallel-pathways”.
“The government should also take an extra step to allow these contract workers similar access to perks enjoyed by the permanent MOs such as special leave, hazard leave, study leave and so forth as their responsibilities, workload and even risks are the same.
“On top of that, they should be allowed to apply for ‘Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP)’ to further their Masters and Specialists in local universities to address the lack of specialists in our country,” he suggested.
Yii stressed that the best way to appreciate the medical frontliners especially for their service to the country during this pandemic was to invest in them, give them better security of tenure and a chance to further specialised in their desired Masters Programme. — DayakDaily