High time for Sarawak to form own Medical Council and Health Ministry, opines SUPP Education Bureau

A screenshot of SUPP Education Bureau press conference.

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KUCHING, July 24: It is high time for Sarawak to form its own Sarawak Medical Council (SMC) and Ministry of Health Sarawak (KKS) as Sarawakians are capable of managing the State’s medical services and profession, said Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Education Bureau chairman Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing.

Ding said this when he highlighted several dissatisfactions towards the Ministry of Health’s (KKM) approaches.

As he was told that KKM has recently offered permanent posts to 300 contract medical officers (MOs) with 150 sent to Sarawak hospitals, he said there are many competent contract MOs in Sarawak itself, but they were not promoted.

“Why can’t they be offered permanent posts? The selection process is completely not transparent and hence very unfair to Sarawak contract MOs,” he said.

On another related issue, Ding said the SUPP Education Bureau has been representing four Sarawak contract MOs to fight for permanent posts since December 2019, but only two managed to get offers so far.

He said the other two MOs are Public Service Department (JPA) scholars who were guaranteed 10-year government service after graduation, but now they are in a limbo with contracts renewable on yearly basis.

Attempted contact was made with the Minister of Health and also Prime Minister when he visited Kuching in April, 2021 regarding the two JPA scholars, but efforts were to no avail, Ding pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Meradong assemblyman viewed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s offer yesterday (July 23) of a maximum of four years’ contract at the end of the four-year compulsory service as insufficient for MOs to prepare and pass a specialist examination.

“As such, our bureau hereby is of the view that a contract of 10 years is more reasonable if permanent posts are not financially feasible for the government,” he said during a press conference today.

SUPP Education Bureau also made a few proposals to KKM which included introducing a common professional licensing examination for Malaysian MOs like the United States and Indonesia, intensifying training of competent MOs to avoid shortage in 10 years’ time and giving priorities to physicians, pediatrics, obstetrician and gynecologists, and surgeons.

SUPP Dudong chief Wong Ching Yong was also present during the press conference along with other members of the media. — DayakDaily