Dr Yii queries absence of Sarawakians among 203 contract medical officers offered with permanent posts

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, July 23: Why are there no Sarawakians among the 203 contract medical officers who were offered permanent postings to serve across the nation starting Aug 2, 2021?

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said from the third cohort 2017 batch, 102 out of the 203 were asked to report duty in Sarawak, but none of them is a Sarawakian.

Although doctors from Peninsular Malaysia are similarly as dedicated and diligent when working in Sarawak, he said they will eventually be transferred back to their home states after a two-year compulsory service with the government.

That, he added, would leave Sarawak with insufficient medical resources from time to time.

“That is why, I have urged the (Health) Ministry to prioritise Sarawakians when making the new (permanent) offers, especially if they are to be posted in Sarawak to address the urgent needs of doctors in the State on a long-term basis.

“As it is, there are still many Sarawakian doctors or even healthcare workers who are serving in Sarawak even in rural areas, but yet to be offered a permanent posting.

“This may seem unfair to them especially to those who are willing to serve even in rural areas,” said Dr Yii in a statement today.

Thus, he called upon Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang who is a Sarawakian himself, to address this issue as the latter should know better Sarawak’s desperate need for more healthcare workers.

On a related issue, Dr Yii urged the Ministry of Health (MOH) to make transparent the selection criteria for permanent posting for contract healthcare workers to avoid any perception of favouritism, bias or discrimination.

“If the criteria is more transparent and certain, the junior doctors can also be better prepared and know for sure what they need to work for.

“This may resolve a lot of uneasiness and feelings of being under-appreciated that they are feeling now,” he said.

There has to be a comprehensive solution to this long-standing issue for all contract healthcare workers, he added. — DayakDaily