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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Nov 17: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii calls on Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba to be transparent and provide more clarity on the upgrading of contract medical officers from grade UD41 to UD43.
He asserted that it should be ensured the implementation is done properly and be accounted for in the national budget.
“I welcome such move although there are pertinent questions that needs to be answered by the Minister to make sure that this is not merely an announcement, but that tangible actions and implementations will be done for the sake of our young healthcare workers.
“First and foremost, such a decision was already made in the (federal) cabinet under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in November 2019. Nonetheless, it was slow to be implemented under the current government.
“So, in order for it not just to be a mere announcement, the Minister must be transparent and clarify,” he pointed out in a statement today.
Among the matters Dr Yii called on Dr Adham to explain, include the timing of the upgrade, the number of contract officers involved, the cost and the allocation provided in Budget 2021.
Dr Yii noted that Dr Adham had yesterday announced the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Cabinet has decided on Friday (Nov 13) to upgrade the contract medical officers from grade UD41 to UD43 so they could enjoy the same pay grade as their permanent counterparts as they have the same responsibility and face the same risk in the hospitals.
He opined the PN government should take an extra step by allowing those contract workers to have similar benefits enjoyed by the permanent medical officers as their responsibility, work load and even risk, is the same.
Apart from that, Dr Yii opined that these contract medical officers should be allowed to apply for the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP) to further their post graduate and specialist studies in local universities to address the lack of specialists in the country.
“The best way we can appreciate our medical frontliners especially for their services during this pandemic is to invest into them and give them better security of tenure and a chance for them to further studies in their desired Masters Programme.
“This is in line with the efforts by the government and hospitals to produce more specialists to address the lack of specialists nationwide and also to improve the quality of healthcare for our patients,” Dr Yii added. —DayakDaily