Health Ministry warns action against concessionaires if cleaning services disrupted at public hospitals

Five activists were charged at the Magistrate Court in Ipoh for defying the CMCO by gathering at HRPB, June 4, 2020. — Pictures by John Bunyan
Five activists were charged at the Magistrate Court in Ipoh for defying the CMCO by gathering at HRPB, June 4, 2020. — Pictures by John Bunyan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today warned that his ministry may act against the concessionaire company Edgenta UEMS Sdn Bhd, that supplies cleaners to government hospitals should the services are disrupted.

Following protests by cleaning frontliners and accusation of union-busting. Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry is monitoring the issue and advised the company to take drastic action to solve the problem as soon as possible.

“The issue should not disrupt the services at our hospitals because [the ministry has] contractual agreement with the company. But now the issue is between the company and their workers,” he said in his daily briefing.

“Therefore, it is an internal issue and not the issue of the ministry. But at the end of the day the ministry is looking into the services provided by the company.

“If there is disruption, then action will be taken based on the contractual agreement between the Ministry of Health and the concessionaire company,” he added.

On the gathering held by the National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services (NUWHSAS) members in front of the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh on Tuesday, Dr Noor Hisham said that demonstration is prohibited as the nation is still under the period of conditional movement control order (CMCO).

“They should be engaging with the company rather than the ministry as the services are from the company and it does not involve the ministry,” he added, referring to the activists.

The NUWHSAS’ protest was aimed to raise attention to the hospital cleaners’ grouses, including the lack of protective gear against the Covid-19 virus.

They claimed that they have been subjected to constant harassment, victimisation and union-busting activities since early this year after making multiple police reports and complaints to the Human Resources Ministry against UEM Edgenta Bhd’s subsidiary Edgenta UEMS Sdn Bhd.

During the protest, the five individuals were arrested for obstructing public servants from carrying out their duties and was charged today at the Magistrate Court in Ipoh for defying the CMCO by gathering at an infected area.

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