Monday, July 26, 2021

#HartalDoktorKontrak


Hundreds, maybe thousands of young Malaysian medics plan to participate in an industrial action today to express their discontent with a contract system they say is unfair. 

It is said there are something like 23,077 contract medical officers nationwide who are in limbo over a lack of pathways to obtain permanent jobs. 

And all of them have been on the frontlines battling the Covid pandemic. 

These doctors earn far less than counterparts with permanent jobs, face slow career progression dependent on contract renewals and cannot move to the private sector until they have served close to five years in the public health system – as it is mandated for all medical graduates. Simply put, the government are using them as cheap labor. 

Indeed, the PN government have been dragging their feet – and after much deliberate delay, on Friday, the backdoor prime minister made a couple of small concessions to try and pacify the aggrieved doctors but organizers called the move ‘half-baked’ and vowed to go ahead with the walkout. 

Dr Mustapha Kamal, a spokesman for the Hartal Doktor Kontrak (Doctors’ Contract Strike) group, noted that the proposals were enclosed in a press statement rather than a government circular – which he said meant officials could go back on their word any time. 

“As long as the government refuses to call [the strike organisers] to the negotiation table, we will proceed with the hartal”, he said. "We want this solution to be in a government circular, in black and white”. 

As the public face behind the planned strike, the doctor said the effort has become more than just about contract doctors. “We are fighting for the nation’s health care”, he had declared on Friday. 

I support Hartal Doktor Kontrak!

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