KUCHING, Apr 16: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii opines that government doctors, pharmacist and dentists on contracts should be given better assurances of tenure for their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
Dr Yii in a statement said the government’s decision to extend the contracts of government doctors, pharmacists and dentists whose service ended late last year, or due for termination this year in the next six months was “stop-gap measure” or short-term fix without really giving proper assurance and security to healthcare workers, especially after the sixth month.
According to him, in the statement released by the Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, they admitted that the extension’s purpose was mainly for MOH’s objective of handling and breaking the COVID-19 chain of transmission.
“While we do need all hands on board to deal with this pandemic at hand, but after these healthcare workers risk their lives on the frontlines or to help deal with the virus, are we just going to leave them high and dry when things gets better?
“I am sure they are more than willing to serve our nation during this pandemic as it is the core of the oath that we all take, but it may not be really fair and equitable to demand this from our healthcare workers without giving them proper security of tenure especially in appreciation of their efforts and sacrifice,” he said.
Dr Yii also said that the move will affect the future of medical doctors that intend to pursue their specialist course or Masters, as they will need clinical experience to complete their specialist training.
He explained that the additional six months was insufficient for the needed training and guidance from experienced medical specialists.
“This is of course not in line with the efforts by the government and hospitals to produce more specialists to address the lack of them nationwide and also to improve the quality of healthcare for our patients,” he said.
At the same time, he noted that one of the things this pandemic revealed was the importance of reforms in healthcare priorities especially systemic financing to healthcare.
He also pointed that more investment into healthcare is really needed not just to deal with the current pandemic, but also others that will come.
“This involves investment into human resources, the core of the healthcare system because it is the healthcare workers that save patients, and it is into them we must priorities our investment, an investment into the health of our nation which will also translate into the wealth of our nation.
“This pandemic has shown to us the importance of our healthcare workers. That is why I echo my earlier call to the government to resolve the contract issues with our healthcare workers and add more additional permanent postings to them as a sign of appreciation for all their sacrifices and contributions,” he said. —DayakDaily.