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Editor’s note: Number of new cases amended to one.
SIBU, Feb 9: The number of medical officers (MOs) and dental officers (DOs) whose contracts were not renewed by the Health Ministry has risen to 11 from 10 previously, according to SUPP.
Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Education Bureau chairman Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing revealed today that they were informed about the new case by an MO from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
Last month, the bureau issued its first open letter to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister highlighting the plight of 4 MOs — two each from Sarawak and West Malaysia — whose contracts were not renewed with no reason was given for the non-renewal.
This was followed by a second letter to the PM and DPM, which revealed six more cases throughout the country.
In response, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen on January 23 was reported as asserting that all contracts of MOs in Sarawak will be renewed.
According to Chong, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had taken up the matter with Health Minister Datuk Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad who agreed to renew the contracts of MOs in Sarawak and promised to personally look into the matter.
However, Ding claimed that until now, there had been no official documentation pertaining to the matter.
“Now, Chap Goh Mei is over, the MOs in Sarawak still haven’t received the new contracts. The people of Sarawak hope that the two full ministers will honour their promise made on the eve of Chinese New Year,” he said.
He also claimed that after the bureau exposed the predicament of the MOs and DOs, a parent in Sibu approached them with allegations that a disporportionate number of West Malaysians have been confirmed as dental officers as compared to Sarawakians.
“Yesterday (Feb 8), a father of a dental officer told us that in the latest list of confirmation of permanent posts of dental officers, only four are Sarawakians out of 150 permanent posts created.”
Meanwhile, Ding proposed that young doctors and dentists in the state form their own association, especially doctors and dentists who are not specialists, to fight for their own interests and welfare.
He said the new Malaysia Medical Association Sibu Chapter chairman Dr Wong Chya Wei has agreed to be the advisor for the proposed association.
“A few parents in Sibu and Kuching have called up SUPP Education Bureau informing us that their children who are also doctors and dentists will definitely join the proposed medical association,” he said.
Ding opined problems faced by young doctors and dentists in Sarawak such as postings and confirmation of permanent posts are different from those faced by their counterparts in West Malaysia.
Sarawak, particularly in the rural areas, is still facing insufficient numbers of MOs, DOs and specialists, he pointed out.
“Many doctors and dentists from West Malaysia are reluctant to serve in Sarawak. It is an undisputed fact that MOs from West Malaysia after completion of their specialist training in Sarawak will choose to go back,” he added. — DayakDaily