Hartal Doktor Kontrak warns Health Ministry as 20pc of permanent offers spurned last year

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — One in five medical officers either did not take up or remain in their permanent positions offered last year, Hartal Doktor Kontrak (HDK) said when warning of the alarming trend in the country’s public health service.

The advocacy group said 1,118 of 5,489 permanent positions offered last year were now vacant due to resignation, non-reporting, or rejection.

According to Utusan Malaysia, HDK said this indicated a clear mismatch between the positions offered by the Health Ministry and the expectations of the medical officers.

“We need to realise that there were those who had been in the service for a long time and had specific expertise in certain fields, but most of them when appointed to a permanent position were then instructed to move or be placed in a new location.

“There were some cases where doctors took examinations abroad in the field of internal medicine and wanted to [specialise], but after all that effort, they were directed to a health clinic or health office district after being appointed to permanent service.

“In most cases, many doctors appealed to the administration and the ministry to be given a placement to facilitate specialist training, but the requests were ignored, so, they become discouraged with permanent appointments and resign,” he said.

The group spokesman said that there were also cases of doctors who were offered permanent positions, but did not accept the Health Ministry’s directives to move to the new location due to reasons such as family and health.

Failure to comply with the offer meant it would be rescinded, with the affected doctors then limited to a maximum of seven years’ service on contract.

He said that while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad and the government were committed to make permanent appointments regularly, this would be undermined if the offers were incompatible with doctors’ expectations.

“For Hartal Doktor Kontrak, this is an urgent issue to be refined by the ministry, because a win-win policy needs to be formulated to ensure survival in maintaining highly skilled human resources in the service.

“Don’t be too harsh with the policies that oppress us all, listen to our cries at the grassroots level.

“We also call for the government and the Health Ministry to be more open to listen to our voices and complaints at the grassroots level so that policies are better formulated so that all these polemics and crises can be overcome immediately,” he said.

Of the vacant positions, Utusan Malaysia reported that 529 were rejected, 559 were accepted but unfilled, and 30 were resignations.

Last May 13, Dzulkefly said that the government will introduce the Human Resource Framework to overcome the current shortage of medical officers in the government hospitals.

According to Dzulkefly, it was a part of the medium and long-term steps that will be implemented to overcome the issue with the cooperation of several other ministries including the Higher Education Ministry.