Dr Yii urges permanent posting for healthcare workers

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has called on the government to provide more permanent postings for healthcare workers in the country.

While he welcomed the government’s announcement for medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers to be given a two-year contract after completion of their mandatory service, he said the government must also look into offering permanent posting for healthcare workers.

“The government has finally given into some of the initial demands from the contract healthcare workers, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and public for these healthcare workers to be given a fairer deal.

“But, I also demand that such decisions with regard to providing permanent posting be implemented as soon as possible without any further delay,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday (July 23).

Dr Yii also urged the government to come out with a comprehensive overall study on the country’s long-term human resource needs in the Health Ministry and then come out with a comprehensive plan to make sure such needs are fulfilled on a consistent basis.

“There has to be a significant increase in investment towards the healthcare system in both infrastructure and human resources to cater for the growing healthcare needs in the country and also to prepare for future pandemics.”

Having said that, Dr Yii, who is also Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for Health, Science and Innovation chairman, said the issue would be further discussed in the Parliamentary Special Select Committee Meeting.

“We will be looking to work closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Public Service Department (JPA) to find the best long-term solution for the healthcare professionals in line with the country’s growing healthcare needs.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the move to provide a two-year contract of service for medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers was to ensure continuity of service and also to prepare junior doctors for specialist training.

He said other matters agreed during the Cabinet meeting on July 14, tabled by the MoH, were to extend the contract of service to a maximum of four years for medical and dental officers accepted to take up specialist training during their first-two year of service.

To ensure an equal and fair career path, he said, the Cabinet agreed that contract medical, dental and pharmaceutical officers be managed the same as permanent officers and be offered study leave, which is fully paid and scholarship or equivalent and also Federal Training Prize.

On top of that, he said, the Cabinet agreed to enhance the benefits for contract officers such as special medical duty leave, tuberculosis leave and allowance to return to their place of origin.

These decisions, he said, would provide the government space to finalise the reformation study of the health system that is currently carried out, reviewing the existing Medical Act 1971 and to form a long-term plan for the medical services.