PETALING JAYA: Groups of contract doctors in several major hospitals today delivered on their promise to stage a walkout as part of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak strike.
The strike, to demand a fair career path and for contract doctors to be offered the same benefits as medical officers in permanent positions, among others, began at 11am.
At Hospital Kuala Lumpur, the city’s main hospital, some 50 doctors walked out of the hospital building, watched on by about 30 police officers.
A contract doctors’ representative, who only wanted to be known as Dr Muhammad, urged Malaysians to support them.
“Our strike is not about resistance, we only want the government to give us the same rights and benefits that permanent doctors get.
“All of us here have been helping treat Covid-19 patients. To date, 150 contract medical officers have quit because they are tired of the system,” he said.
Police later instructed the media to leave.
At the makeshift Covid-19 hospital at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), the doctors carried out their strike from their respective halls, holding out placards with the hashtags #hartal, #contract, and #justice4juniorDRS.
Similarly, police told members of the press to leave the area.
At Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah in Klang, some 30 contract doctors walked out of the l building at about 11.50am, after discussing among themselves whether to proceed with the strike.
A spokesman for the group said they had been pressured against proceeding with the strike by their superiors, but decided that they would not back down.
“We were warned by some of our superiors, not all, and pressured not to proceed. They told us if we continue, (the management) will issue you a warning letter.”
The spokesman said the group wanted to be absorbed into permanent service after completing their housemanship years ago.
Previously, the Hartal Doktor Kontrak group had said the strike would proceed, and denounced Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s offer of a contract extension and fully paid study leave as a half-baked solution.
It had been reported that the Special Branch and Federal Reserve Unit would be deployed at the hospital to monitor the situation and would be on standby to arrest health workers who defied this order.