Contract doctors get two-year extension and paid study leave

By S. Harrish

THE government has agreed to give contract doctors, dentists and pharmacists similar perks to those with permanent positions.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in a statement that this includes a fully paid study leave to do their specialisation

“The cabinet has agreed that all contract medical officers, dentists, and pharmacists will be offered a two-year contract term after they complete their mandatory service.”

“The cabinet also agreed to extend contractual appointments for a maximum of four years to medical officers and dentists who are accepted for specialisation during their first two-year contract.”

Muhyiddin said all contract officers will now receive the same treatment as permanent staff.

He added that the government would improve the benefits that are offered to the contract officers, including entitlement to special medical leave.

A social media campaign, Hartal Doktor Kontrak, has called for contract doctors to go on strike over the issue on July 26 if the issue is not resolved.

Muhyiddin said the Health Ministry had on July 14, presented a proposal to improve the terms of appointment for contract medical and dental officers.

“We are aware of their contributions as frontliners during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He added that the ministry and related agencies will draw up a comprehensive plan for the contract doctors.