Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today announced a two-year extension of contract for medical officers, dentists and pharmacists once they have completed their compulsory service, calling it a short-term measure to address the problems recently highlighted while the government drafts out a more comprehensive, long-term solution.
He said the Cabinet had also agreed to extend by up to four years the services of contract doctors who have been accepted for specialisation in their fields.
“The government greatly appreciates the contribution of doctors on the front line of the Covid-19 war and will remain committed to ensuring that the welfare and career paths of contract medical, dental and pharmacy officers are given due attention and fairness,” he said.
His announcement came in the wake of demands for the authorities to resolve the plight of contract doctors who have yet to be absorbed into permanent positions.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba recently said that the issue would be brought to the Cabinet, urging doctors in the current contract scheme to remain patient.
In his statement today, Muhyiddin said the health ministry had presented a proposal on the matter to the Cabinet on July 14.
He said the Cabinet had agreed to extend the benefits enjoyed by permanent officers such as full paid study leave and sponsorships in order to ensure equal treatment.
Other agreements include the improvement of facilities or benefits offered to contract medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists such as special leave and assistance with the fare for returning to their home towns.
“These decisions will also give the government space to finalise the study on the ongoing reforms to the health system, examine the existing provisions in the Medical Act 1971 and formulate a long-term direction for healthcare services,” he said.