Former prime minister Najib Razak has urged Putrajaya to reward contract doctors big bonuses at the end of their contracts if it cannot afford to offer permanent positions to them.
Najib said the issue involving contract doctors needed to be resolved quickly. The government’s silence would only make matters worse.
“Don’t be stingy with doctors and the needs of the public health sector when Malaysia is going through this major health crisis. Now is not the time to waste time negotiating,” he said in a Facebook post.
Commenting on rumours that there was a staff shortage in government hospitals, Najib questioned what Putrajaya was doing to address this and if it was time to bring in health workers from abroad as a temporary measure.
He also asked if retired medical officers were being called up to serve temporarily since the need was so pressing.
Don’t just look on when people are sick, or deny that the situation has become critical. The first step to resolving any problem is admitting that we have a problem, not denying it.
These are human lives. These are the rakyat who are sick. Among the signs of a failed government is when the country can no longer give medical treatment and attention to its people.
Junior doctors have called for changes to be made to the contract system, due to the lack of job security and opportunities for career advancement.
The Malaysian Medical Association’s Section Concerning House Officers, Medical Officers and Specialists (Schomos) organised the Code Black campaign, urging the public to stand in solidarity with contract doctors by changing their social media profile pictures to monochrome and to dress in black to work.
While Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and health minister Dr Adham Baba had both said the contract system would be discussed at the Cabinet meeting last week, no official statement has been made until today.