Give priority of permanent posts to Sarawakian MOs

Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing

Sarawakian medical officers (MOs) should be given top priority in obtaining permanent posts at hospitals in the state.

Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing (SUPP-Meradong) urged the Health Ministry to look into this matter and implement it accordingly.

“The Health Ministry in September 2020 created another 150 permanent posts for Sarawak hospitals. Sixty-six posts representing 44 percent, permanent posts were allocated to Sarawakian MOs.

“This is not good enough because we know many qualified Sarawakian MOs on contract are still waiting for permanent posts.

“Top priority must be given to Sarawakian MOs for confirmation into permanent posts in Sarawak hospitals,” he said when debating on the Supply (2021) Bill 2020 yesterday.

Ding said the Health Ministry must be transparent regarding the terms and conditions of granting permanent posts to MOs on contract.

“They must formulate a long-term policy to control and regulate the population of doctors in Malaysia. One of the solutions is to reduce the number of local medical schools through mergers.

“Currently, Malaysia with a population of 33 million, has 34 medical schools whilst UK which has a population of 68 million and only has 33 medical schools,” he said.

Ding said the suggestion by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian on Sarawak Medical Council (SMC) was a good beginning to claim back the state’s health autonomy.

“SMC shall be responsible for the regulation of the medical profession and work closely with the Sarawak government on the hiring of Sarawakian medical officers,” he said.

On Covid-19, the Meradong assemblyman commended the issuance of Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) to help those affected by the pandemic and hoped that it could be extended beyond Dec 2020.

“Covid-19 is here to stay and until a vaccine is available, we just have to deal with it as we go along. Most importantly we have to remain united, be vigilant and reach out to the unfortunate and needy groups whenever necessary,” Ding said.