PKR calls for permanent posts to be granted to 23,000 junior doctors amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Dr Michael Teo

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KUCHING, July 13: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) urges the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to abolish the contract system and absorb all 23,000 contract medical officers into the public sector as permanent employees.

In stating this, PKR vice-president Dr Michael Teo who is also the Miri MP, said that the permanent recruitment solution will avoid loss of local young talent to other countries which could result in a brain drain.

“It is a national scandal that whilst Malaysia’s public health system grapples with a shortage of physicians and surgeons across various specialties and other associated healthcare professionals, there is a growing number of medical, pharmacy, and dental graduates who are unable to get permanent positions within the public health system due to budgetary constraints.

“I urge the PN government, especially the Ministry of Health (MOH), to ensure that strategic workforce planning can meet the primary health care, mental health and public health needs of our nation.

“The government must also focus on creating more opportunities for specialist training and medical research. Our healthcare workforce remains the bedrock of our society and they must be treated with due respect and recognition, starting with our junior doctor workforce and sustainable employment and training pathways,” he said in a statement today.

He also stressed that the health systems can only function with trained health workers.

While the nation is struggling with the Covid-19, he said, the pandemic contract extension until the end of 2022 for junior medical officers is not an adequate solution in ensuring the long-term reputation and excellence of the country’s medical sector.

“The MOH must recognise the vital services of all health workers especially when the country is facing a huge burden on healthcare services brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added. — DayakDaily