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Strikes not the best way to handle problems in health sector, says Noor Hisham

The health director-general says problems need to be dealt with through joint involvement.

2 minute read
Contract doctors hold up placards during a peaceful gathering at Hospital Kuala Lumpur in July 2021.
Contract doctors hold up placards during a peaceful gathering at Hospital Kuala Lumpur in July 2021.

Unplanned strikes are not the best way to address problems related to the medical profession, or any other profession, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today. 

Instead, he said, problems that arise need to be dealt with through joint involvement and in a more prudent way.

"A strike can generally cause a service to be affected for as long as it is organised. It is usually organised to convey a certain message to the relevant parties.

"However, this matter needs to be considered carefully. This is because health services are a critical service, especially because they involve human lives and the well-being of the people," he said in a statement today.

He was responding to rumours of a strike by contract doctors from April 3 to 5 and the DoctorsMalaysia Instagram page which had urged contract doctors nationwide to join the strike or resign en masse on April 1.
Noor Hisham said the health ministry had no further information about the strike, and only received announcements through social media channels.

He said the government had, from time to time, responded to the problems and demands raised by health workers, including by creating permanent staffing, sponsoring specialist training or advanced training, giving time-based promotions and opportunities to be promoted to special grades, and creating the UD56 grade for medical experts.

He said the government would ensure that all problems and requests are evaluated in accordance with the current issues and given appropriate solutions based on the country's economic capabilities.

"Health services continue to be given due priority by the government as we can see through Budget 2023: Developing Malaysia Madani. Hopefully, health services can be further strengthened in the coming year," he said.

Noor Hisham also said that health services in the country must continue to be considered as a critical sector due to the complexity, challenges, risks and hard work that health workers have to face in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that without a resilient health system, the country might not have been be able to control it well and people would not have been carry on with their normal life activities.

"Therefore, health workers who are the main assets of the health service need to continue to be given due attention, including appropriate remuneration for their services," he said.