PM announces 2-year extension for contract doctors, better benefits including paid study leave

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (file photo)

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KUCHING, July 23: The Cabinet has agreed to extend the contracts of medical officers, dental officers and pharmaceutical officers for two years upon completion of their mandatory service to ensure continuity of service and preparation for pursuing specialist studies.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin emphasised that the Cabinet has also agreed to extend the contractual appointments to a maximum of four years for medical officers and dental officers who have been accepted for specialist studies during the contract period of the first two years.

“This step is to make sure officers successfully complete their studies in their respective expertise.

“The Cabinet also understands the concerns and problems faced by a group of medical officers, dental officers and pharmaceutical officers regarding their contract appointments in relation to the equivalence of their career paths,” he said in a statement today.

To ensure an equal and fair career path, Muhyiddin added that the Cabinet has agreed that contractual appointments are managed in accordance with permanent officers career equivalence and are offered full paid study leave as well as sponsorship studies equivalent to fully paid study leave and federal training rewards.

Among other decisions reached include to improve the facilities or benefits offered to contractual medical officers, dental officers and pharmaceutical officers such as special duty medical leave, tuberculosis leave and travel allowances for returning to region of origin.

“All the decisions will provide room for the government to finalise the study on reforming the health system which is being implemented, examining the existing stipulations in the Medical Act 1971 and formulate a long-term direction for medical services.

“The government appreciates the contributions of doctors as the frontliners in the fight against the Covid-19 and the government will continue to be committed in ensuring the welfare and career paths of the contractual medical officers, dental officers and pharmaceutical officers are given due attention in a fair manner,” he reassured.

Assuring that full attention is given to resolving the medical services issue in a thorough and effective manner, Muhyiddin added that he has instructed the Ministry of Health (MOH) as well as relevant ministries and agencies to draw a comprehensive and inclusive plan that encompasses immediate action, medium short term plans and long-term plans.

The MOH has also presented a proposal paper to the Cabinet on July 14 in relation to the improvement of the group of medical officers, dental officers and contract pharmaceutical officers. — DayakDaily