Thursday, December 2, 2021

Only 4.2% of contract doctors offered permanent posts since end-2016, says health ministry

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin says they are working on a projection of the number of medical officers who need to be appointed on a permanent basis.

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The health ministry today said is in the process of preparing a projection of the number of medical officers that need to be appointed on a permanent basis.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the projection would be submitted to the Public Service Department and the finance ministry.

“I’m not sure if we can absorb all of them who are under contract for permanent posts, but we start with the projection of the needs first… I’m sure with that projection, we can work on how we can absorb them into permanent service,” he said.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) during the minister’s question time.

Azizah had wanted to know the financial implications if the government were to appoint all contract doctors to permanent posts.

Khairy said since the end of 2016, more than 24,000 graduate training medical officers had been appointed on a contract basis, but only about 1,000 of them were offered permanent posts.

Meanwhile, through the tabling of the 2022 budget, Khairy said the government had agreed to continue the appointments on contract of 10,583 medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers, involving an allocation of RM336.35 million.

He said of the total, 4,186 officers had been evaluated and could be recommended to the PSD for permanent appointment.

These comprise 3,586 medical officers, 300 dental officers and 300 pharmaceutical officers, and would require an allocation of RM377,485,089.

Khairy said the government had also provided RM100 million in sponsorship for specialist programmes that would benefit 3,000 medical and dental contract officers.

He said a special committee had also been set up to find a long-term solution to the issue of contract appointments, including the need to amend several laws such as the Medical Act and the Dental Act.

He said the health ministry and PSD are still continuing discussions to amend the Pension Act to determine the suitability of offering permanent and more sustainable appointments to medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers through the Employees Provident Fund scheme.

Khairy said this in response to a question by Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) on measures taken by the government in facing the second wave of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak, a movement by health ministry contract doctors, and the financial implications facing the government if the contract medical officers were to be absorbed to permanent posts.

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