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Monday, November 29, 2021

MOH: Over 500 contract doctors resigned between Jan and Nov

A total of 514 contract medical officers have resigned from government service between Jan and Nov 26, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali reportedly said the doctors have stated various reasons behind their exit, including to continue their service at private facilities, personal issues, furthering their studies and health problems.

"On the matter of contract doctor resignations, the decision was made by the doctors themselves based on their own reasons.

"Among the reasons that the doctors had stated were to continue their service in the private sector, personal reasons, to serve in statutory bodies, furthering their study, health issues, to take their service overseas, and opening their own clinic," he said, as quoted by Malay-daily Harian Metro.

Noor Azmi was responding to a question from Kuala Selangor MP Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, who requested the ministry to reveal the statistics involving graduate doctors on contract who resigned from government service.

According to the deputy minister, the number of contract medical officers who resigned in 2017 was 110, followed by 168 in 2018, 475 in 2019, and 511 (2020).

Noor Azmi also told Parliament that the Health Ministry was concerned over the issues faced by contract doctors and their future.

"We have formed a special committee to look into issues related to these young doctors.

"The minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) is taking a serious approach on how to solve the issues and we will continue this effort," he said.

Contract medical officers in the country have complained about the lack of job security and opportunities for them to further study and specialise.

Government junior contract doctors also face the risk of losing their job after the end of their five-year training at government hospitals.

Their frustration has led to a group of the contract doctors forming a movement which they called “Hartal Doktor Kontrak”, campaigning for an end to the “two-tier system” between permanent trainee doctors and those on contract at government hospitals, whereby the latter are ineligible for local postgraduate scholarships to become specialists.

Back in July, the movement managed to galvanise hundreds of contract doctors nationwide to walk out from their workplaces. - Mkini

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