PETALING JAYA: A contract doctors group has welcomed the government’s decision to open up more than 4,000 permanent positions for medical officers this year, saying it is a “positive development”.
Dr Mustapha Kamal of Hartal Doktor Kontrak (HDK) said the decision was an encouraging development for contract doctors.
“This is a positive development as something is better than nothing at all,” he told FMT today.
However, he said more was needed to address the issues facing contract doctors.
“There is still a lot that needs to be ironed out. For example, more thorough selection criteria must be established for contract doctors in the running for permanent positions,” he said.
Earlier, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that 4,186 healthcare workers on contract would be absorbed into the health ministry in permanent posts from June onwards.
He said the number would be made up of 3,586 medical officers, 300 dentists and 300 pharmacists.
HDK has been demanding transparency in the criteria and selection of contract doctors along with the same perks granted to permanent doctors.
The group continues to push for hazard leave and cancer leave to be provided for contract doctors.
Khairy’s announcement today comes after he confirmed last month that contract doctors would be eligible for specialist training under the Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan sponsorship scheme.
As part of today’s announcement, Khairy also said the Cabinet had agreed to open up at least 1,500 permanent positions for doctors every year from 2023 to 2025. In addition, 800 specialist posts and 70 dental specialist posts would be opened up every year from 2023.