The Ministry of Health must clarify immediately whether the 22,000 contract medical officers who were upgraded from UD41 to UD43 over the past week will receive any salary increment or not.
This is based on a news report that the current pay of contract medical officer at UD41 is higher than the starting pay in the current new grade of UD43, giving fears that there is no increment which is unfair and unjust to our young medical doctors.
Currently drawing a basic pay of RM3,622 while the starting salary under the new UD43 grade is RM3,611.
The Cabinet decision to promote these contract officers from the UD41 category to UD43 was done by Pakatan Harapan-led (PH) government in November 2019 but the Perikatan Nasional government was slow to implement it, with it only coming int effect recently.
However, the concerns that they do not received any raise even with the promotion in grade must be clarified and addressed. If true, this is a clear injustice to our young medical officers and a mockery to show our appreciation for playing a huge part part of our nation’s effort against Covid-19.
This has been something we have been constantly fighting for to make sure we protect our young medical professionals adequately and retain them in the public service where more than 70% of the populations seeks medical treatment. If not, we risk losing more of them to the private sector or even increase brain drain out of our country.
How many years extra are they planning to extend the contracts and what is the timeline for this to be implemented?
The government should take an extra step to allow these contract workers similar access to perks enjoyed by the permanent MOs as their responsibility, workload and even risk is the same.
It is only a policy decision that can be made on a Ministry level which includes access for them to get special leave such as Hazard Leave, study leave..etc
On top of that, they should allow them to apply for Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan(HLP) to further their Masters and Specialists in Local Universities to address the lack of Specialist in our country.
The best way we can appreciate our medical front liners, especially for their service to our country during this pandemic, is to invest into them and give them better security of tenure and of course a chance for them to further specialise in their desired Masters Program.
This is, of course, in line with the efforts by the government and hospitals to produce more specialists to address the lack of them nationwide and also to improve the quality of healthcare for our patients.
While I recognize this is a complicated issue, but it is sad how these young doctors and healthcare workers are treated like “disposables” even though they have given so much and serve through during the Covid-19 season.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching