#HartalDoktorKontrak: Prepare for strike if contract doctors’ woes not solved before Budget 2022 tabled

·2-min read
Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Sungai Buloh Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Sungai Buloh Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — The #HartalDoktorKontrak group has warned today of a strike should the problems involving contract doctors are not solved before Budget 2022 is tabled in the Parliament, following the walkout on Monday.

The organiser of the walkout said two years is too long to deliberate on the matter due to the political instability in this country, following Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba’s previous promise for the government to discuss the matter.

“We do allow them to discuss and come up with a plan, although Dr Adham said he requires two years. I think two years is too long given the political instability in our country,” said a representative of the group calling himself Dr Mustapha.

“Because of this political instability, we want to watch what is happening and the episodes unfolding in regards to the government. So, it may take some time for them to respond.

“If they do not respond before the Belanjawan, most probably we will proceed [with the strike],” he added in a press conference.

Another representative called Dr Syed also said the group is currently in talks with the Malaysia Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and the Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) in order to organise a proper union for junior doctors.

“We have met with MTUC and Cuepacs to find out what is the best way for the union.

“We professional workers can’t have union but we saw contract junior doctors from UD41 to 44 [pay grade] can have union, will have the benefit and raise the issue of future doctors plight so with the union.”

The group said this would be a better way to represent themselves, rather than relying on the Malaysia Medical Association (MMA), which it said is problematic in its own way such as the age gap between the members.

Dr Mustapha also said the group has met with Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham following Monday’s event. Without elaborating on the meet, he lauded the latter for doing his best in administering the ministry.

The group also threw its support for the #Lawan street protest scheduled in Dataran Merdeka tomorrow, which has previously lend its support to the #HartalDoktorKontrak movement.

“#Lawan is a very good cause but we do hope they follow the SOP and abide by the law,” it said.

On Monday, hundreds of contract doctors staged a walkout in their respective hospitals calling for an equal treatment and career progression compared to their permanent colleagues.

Following the move, Dr Adham said nobody who joined should be disciplined for their actions. However, police have begun investigations on some of the media who covered the event.

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