Contract healthcare workers told not to join demonstration tomorrow

Date:

KUALA LUMPUR: Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is urging all doctors and healthcare workers on contract post to refrain from joining a nationwide strike tomorrow and reminds them that many lives are on the line.

In a posting on his Facebook official account tonight, he said the demonstration could affect lives and even their career, while reminding them of the oath they made at the beginning of their profession, “primum non nocere” which translates to ‘first do no harm’ or injustice to their patients.

“While we understand that you wish to continue serving the ministry (Health Ministry) in a permanent post, currently the government has announced a two-year extension of the contract position.

“This is to give time for the amendment to be made to the Pension Act so that permanent positions can be allowed to be employed with EPF (Employees Provident Fund), for example, without pension option,” he said.

He also mentioned that the government will allow those in contract positions to continue their masters even in contract positions and will offer the permanent EPF position once it is made available.

“I wish to remind all that patients’ safety is our priority. Remember the oath we took sincerely and be there for your patients at the time when they and country needed you the most.

“We are the last bastion of defence to make a difference to our patients and every life matter,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

Previously, the media reported that about 23,000 contract doctors will go on a nationwide strike on July 26, after the group’s various efforts for permanent absorption into the service have failed to yield any result.

However, on July 23, the government agreed that medical, dental and pharmacy officers under contract appointments would be offered a two-year contract of service upon completion of their compulsory service period.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a statement said the move was to ensure continuity of service and also as a preparation for the young doctors to pursue specialist training.

The prime minister said the Cabinet also agreed to extend the contract of service to a maximum of four years for medical and dental officers accepted to pursue specialist training during their first two-year contract. – Bernama

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