By S. Harrish
THE government should seriously listen to the grouses and concerns raised by contract medical officers and healthcare professionals rather than threaten them with disciplinary action.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the government should not be threatening those who participate in the “#BlackMondayMY” campaign as there have been consistent calls from many quarters to resolve the contract situation.
Junior doctors and healthcare professionals have been fighting for their rights, privileges and opportunities as they carry the same responsibilities and risks.
Dr Yii said in a statement today that the pandemic had exposed weaknesses in the healthcare system and reaffirmed the need to invest significantly in the health system.
“These young doctors and health professionals have sacrificed their time and energy, risked their lives even at the expense of not going back home to their families so that they do not risk spreading the disease to their loved ones.
“That is why these healthcare professionals do not only deserve our gratitude and respect, but more importantly they deserve to be treater fairly, especially during their time of service.”
The DAP MP called upon the different ministries and the Public Service Department (JPA) to come up with a long-term plan to address the issue holistically including being transparent in the selection criteria for permanent postings, often seen as vague and subjective.
“Such criteria must be fully based on merit and performance, and not driven by race, religion or connections.”
He said only a policy decision at the ministry level can give them special leave such as hazard leave and study leave.
On top of that, Dr Yii said the government should also allow them to apply for Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan for specialisation in local universities, to help address the shortage of specialists in the country.