Monday, July 4, 2022

Putrajaya adds over 4,000 permanent spots for govt doctors, pharmacists

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also pledges the creation of at least 1,500 such positions every year until 2025.

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Over 4,100 additional permanent positions were created for medical workers this year, with at least 1,500 more to come every year from 2023 to 2025, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

Speaking at a press conference, he said the 4,186 additional positions created this year comprised spots for 3,586 medical officers, 300 dental officers and 300 pharmacists.

The annual positions meanwhile include permanent spots for 800 medical specialists and 70 dental specialists.

“The appointments will be made on a trade-off basis, to fill the vacancies left by the officers who have ended their compulsory service,” Khairy said.

He added that the appointments to permanent positions would be evaluted by the Public Service Department.

He said at least 8,886 permanent appointments for contract medical personnel would be made from 2022 to 2025.

Khairy’s announcement today is seen as fulfilling a pledge by Putrajaya last year to find a solution to problems highlighted by contract doctors.

A month before his resignation as prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin had announced a two-year extension of contract for medical officers, dentists and pharmacists, calling it a short-term measure while a more comprehensive, long-term solution was being drafted.

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 contract system was introduced for medical, dental and pharmacy graduates in the tabling of the 2017 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat by former prime minister Najib Razak, who cited constraints on permanent positions.

In July last year, a group of doctors staged the Hartal Doktor Kontrak, with a short protest outside Sungai Buloh Hospital, the country’s main treatment centre for Covid-19 victims.

Speaking today, Khairy said the health ministry would also set up a technical committee for medical graduates to optimise skill competency.

“The government has approved our plan to set up a technical committee for medical bachelors and dental bachelors to optimise capacity programme offerings and control the quality of medical graduates,” he said.

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