State health director: With better pay and future elsewhere, 163 Selangor doctors resigned since Jan

Selangor Health director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman today revealed that 163 medical officers in the state have resigned from civil service since January to date, citing various reasons such as better pay and burnout. ― Picture courtesy of Dr Sha’ari
Selangor Health director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman today revealed that 163 medical officers in the state have resigned from civil service since January to date, citing various reasons such as better pay and burnout. ― Picture courtesy of Dr Sha’ari

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Selangor Health director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman today revealed that 163 medical officers in the state have resigned from civil service since January to date, citing various reasons such as better pay and loss of interest.

During the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) press conference today, the panel members who included minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, were asked about the 24-hour resignation of some contract medical officers, owing to immense work pressure and how this would now affect the ministry’s manpower.

“For medical officers in Selangor, between January and July; to date, there are 163 officers who have resigned and they resigned over various reasons.

“Firstly, if we were to see today, when they serve in the PPVs, they get higher emolument than what they are getting now. So they will resign and join the integrated PPVs that we have now,” he said, using the Malay initials for Covid-19 vaccination centres.

“Secondly, they serve where their families have clinics and they want to inherit those clinics and thirdly, they change profession. There are medical officers whom I have met who are photographers and are not interested anymore to be medical officers.

“There are those who are more interested in being at computer shops. They said in computer shops, they get to earn thrice more than what they are getting now. Meaning that, there are various reasons as to why those medical officers leave the contract service currently,” Dr Sha’ari said.

News portal Malaysiakini had yesterday reported that at least 15 doctors at a public hospital in the Klang Valley have resigned in the past two weeks, citing an anonymous doctor, who also tendered his resignation.

The doctor also reportedly shared some of the resignation letters with the news portal.

Among the reasons cited by the doctors were burnout and gloomy prospects, despite having given their all in the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Just moments earlier, the Cabinet today agreed to appoint medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists by contract for a period of two years once they have completed their compulsory service to ensure continuity of service and preparation for pursuing specialist studies.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Cabinet also agreed to extend the contractual appointment to a maximum of four years for medical officers and dental officers who are pursuing specialisation studies during the contract period of the first two years.

“This step is to make sure they successfully complete their studies in their respective expertise.

“The Cabinet also understands the concerns and problems faced by a group of medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists regarding their contract appointments in relation to the equivalence of their career paths.

The Health Ministry had presented a proposal paper to the Cabinet on July 14 in relation to the improvement of the group of medical officers, dental officers and contract pharmacy officers.

Muhyiddin also assured that the government understands the demands of health workers regarding their contract statuses and are aware of their contributions and roles.

The country’s public healthcare system currently offers only contractual positions by the government under a system introduced in 2016.

According to media reports, the system was initially a temporary solution to the government’s inability to offer permanent positions.

The issue has however persisted and doctors on temporary contracts are uncertain of whether they would end up with a permanent status.

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