Health Minister: MOH to look into setting up taskforce overseeing applications for permanent health officer positions

Khairy (left) speaks to the attendees during the townhall session while Dr Sim looks on.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Sept 6: The Ministry of Health (MOH) will look into setting up a taskforce overseeing applications for permanent positions involving contract doctors, dental officers and pharmacists to ensure transparency.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin noted that the Public Service Department (JPA) will open up 1,500 to 2,000 permanent posts for medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists every year.

“We have an interview process (for the posts) and some people were unhappy about it saying that they have the qualifications but others got the permanent post while they didn’t.

“So we will look through it to make sure that the process is more transparent. I have asked for a taskforce to be set up so that in the future, each applicant will know why they didn’t get it and what they need to do to get the permanent posts,” he said during a townhall session on the Health White Paper (HWP) Development held at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Auditorium here last night (Sept 5).

Khairy also mentioned that the MOH has approved over 4,000 out of almost 9,000 applications for permanent positions involving contract doctors, dental officers and pharmacists for this year, which is the highest number of additional permanent positions since the contract policy started in 2016.

He further said that starting this year, he will ensure that contract doctors, dentists and pharmacists will be offered specialist training under the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP) sponsorship scheme and federal scholarships to pursue specialist training programmes in public universities while working.

He also said he will consider giving permanent posts to potential contract-based medical workers that are endorsed by the senior specialists.

“If you have people who you think are star performers, we have to have a way of having our senior specialists say ‘Look, this is somebody who is a star. I want to train him (or her), I want to make sure he or she becomes the next rockstar, a neurosurgeon’, then we will give him (or her) a permanent post,” he emphasised.

Amongst those present were Sarawak Deputy Premier and Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Deputy Minister of Health II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang; MOH director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah; MOH secretary-general Harjeet Singh Hardev Singh; Sarawak Health Department director Dr Ooi Choo Huck and SGH director Dr Ngian Hie Ung. — DayakDaily