Last week, a group of young doctors had started a social media campaign and it is known as #HartalDoktorKontrak. The campaign was mainly about these young doctors going on a strike to make their issue known to the authorities.
Their movement were supported by the Malaysian Medical Association’s (MMA) Section for Housemen and Medical Officers (Schomos) and they had successfully gain the attention of the authorities after they issued their statement on the strike.
Nonetheless, the Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba had responded that the permanent posts could only be offered to contract doctors based on vacancies. He added that the Ministry is looking for solutions and he asks these contract doctors to be patient while they table the working papers to the Cabinet soon.
The difference between #CodeBlack and Hartal (strike)
Organisers of the strike have proposed doctors to go on a strike on 26 July to protest against the contract system. According to Sinar Harian, the strike will be in a form of contract doctors applying for leave at the same time.
However, the period of the leave was not disclosed and it is unknown how long these doctors intend to go on leave.
On the other hand, the #CodeBlack is MMA Schomos’s way of showing support and protest against the contract system.
The #CodeBlack movement involves organisations, individuals or even companies to change their logo or profile pictures to black or monochrome from 1 July to 12 July. On the final day of the movement, people are asked to go to work dressed in black. The organisers called it “The Black Monday” too.
Suggestions for rectification
According to FMT, a spokesman from MMA Schomos suggested that contract doctors to be given permanent posts under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) system. This will reduce the Government’s burden in the current public servant pension system.
Secondly, if there are no vacancies for permanent positions, he suggested that the contracts to be extended to allow these doctors to complete their masters or take a parallel pathway into specialisation.
Lastly, he suggested the Government to increase the fees of the public healthcare while taking into consideration the income of the B40 group. He said that the emergency department has been RM1 for more than 30 years now, even the parking tickets have increased over the years.
Consequences if remained unresolved
The spokesperson said if the matter remained unresolved at the end of December, the public healthcare system will lose manpower to support its current operations.
In addition, the country will also face brain drain issue whereby these national talents will leave the country and start their live in countries that provide them more prospects.
This could be detrimental to our healthcare system as we will lack specialists to support certain functions.
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