Medical group says cops probing healthcare workers who show solidarity with contract doctors

The Malaysian Medical Association emblem is seen at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 13, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The Malaysian Medical Association emblem is seen at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 13, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) today questioned the police for investigating healthcare workers backing its solidarity campaigns for contract doctors and suggested it was a form of harassment.

While noting the police have a right to investigate, MMA president Prof Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy condemned the way the investigation appeared to target doctors who were simply championing the rights of healthcare workers in the country.

“The involved doctors are afraid and traumatised by the incident and have reported the details of the incident to us through our representatives,” he said in a statement.

“The involved doctors carried out their duties diligently while displaying their solidarity for healthcare workers. Medical officers, like any other Malaysian, have the right to stand up, even at the very least by the show of colour,” he added.

Dr Subramaniam said it has repeatedly said its solidarity campaigns known as Code Black and Black Monday have nothing to do with other similarly colour-coded campaigns and have also informed the Health Ministry about them.

He added that the association is seeking legal advice on the matter.

Dr Subramaniam said MMA aims to disseminate information regarding the rights and problems faced by government doctors hired on a contract basis.

He urged other doctors with similar experience to immediately inform the MMA.

Those affected or seeking further information may refer to the association’s official website at mma.org.my, or send an email to [email protected]. They can also be contacted at 03-40411375.

The MMA and allied healthcare workers organisations have been pushing the government to increase the number of permanent positions for contract doctors for some time, arguing that the lack of such positions makes it difficult to create new medical specialists amid a personnel shortage, and drives potential doctors away from Malaysia to seek better prospects abroad.

It estimated that 15,000 healthcare workers have come out in support of the campaigns on social media since its launch. Black Monday took place yesterday, after a 12-day duration for Code Black.

The government has said the issue will be discussed in tomorrow’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

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