SUPP challenges Putrajaya to disclose criteria of permanent posts for medical, dental officers

Ding (second right), with Wong (right) and others at the press conference.

By Wendy John

SIBU, Jan 18: The Health Ministry has been told to disclose the criteria of giving permanent posts to medical and dental officers.

Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Education bureau chairman Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing said they were informed only 25 per cent of medical and dental officers will get permanent posts.

“Since 2016, all doctors are given a three-year contract. When they have completed their housemanship they will either be given another contract or to find their own ways in the medical field.

“We demand that the Health Minister, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, to publicly disclose the criteria of giving permanent posts to those medical and dental officers,” he told a press conference here today.

Ding claimed that since Dr Dzulkefly assumed the office in May 2018, there were several controversial policies bringing public outcry.

He added that on Nov 13, last year, two medical officers on contract with the Sibu General Hospital, Dr Wong Woan Hui and Dr Bong Ing Hui received a letter from the ministry informing them that their contracts would not be renewed.

Dr Wong was attached with the O&G Department (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) for two years and passed the MRCOG Part 1 examination in February 2018, while Dr Boon was with the Paediatric Department for two years and one year as House Officer (HO). She passed her MRCP (Paediatric) Part 1 in 2018.

“No reason was given in the letter of termination. There are four doctors whose contracts are terminated. They are now left in a limbo. They have passed respectively their Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG) Part 1 and Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom (MRCP) (Paediatric) Part 1.

“Without working in an approved hospital for a period of not less than four years, they cannot sit for their final part in O&G and Paediatrics,” Ding alleged.

He claimed that both doctors were engaged as medical officers and received their wages in the grade UD41 for two years because they were MOs on contract and not permanent staff.

“The difference in wages in significant. Their basic salary is RM664 per month less and the loss totals up to RM7,968 per year excluding the yearly increment.

“MOs are further humiliated as the HOs are getting Flexi Allowance amounting to RM600 per month but the allowance is not available to MOs. The workload as a contract medical officer with UD41 is as heavy as their colleague on the Permanent UD44 scheme,” he said.

Ding added that all medical officers who wished to become specialists have legitimate expectations that the Health Ministry would allow them to work in government hospitals for a long period, such as seven years in the United Kingdom, so that they can have the requisite training.

The Meradong assemblyman said the decision of the government not to renew contracts for medical officers who are doing post graduate studies is a travesty of justice.

Thus, they demanded that the Health Ministry of Health and the Public Service Department must either extend the contracts of the medical officers for a period of seven years or make them permanent staff.

This to ensure so the medical officers can be trained to be specialists who are in severe shortage in Malaysia, he continued.

“The termination of contracts further rubbed salt into the wounds because Sibu General Hospital, in a letter dated Nov 22, 2019, to the ministry had confirmed that the O&G and Paediatric departments are understaffed.

“Under such circumstances, why does Ministry of Health still decide not to renew their contracts?” he questioned. — DayakDaily