KUCHING, July 27 — There has been no report of any demonstration being staged at hospitals in Sarawak as part of the ‘Hartal Doktor Kontrak’ movement.
In stating this, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail said as at yesterday afternoon, no walkout involving doctors or other medical personnel had been reported.
“However, the police will continue to monitor the situation from time to time, not only in Kuching but throughout the state as well,” he said via WhatsApp message yesterday.
Hundreds of junior doctors and medical officers in several hospitals nationwide staged a walkout yesterday under the ‘Hartal Doktor Kontrak’ movement, meant to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s recent announcement of improved benefits and contract extensions.
Recently, a group of contract doctors identified as Gerakan Doktor-Doktor Kontrak Malaysia issued a guide related to the demonstration, which had listed Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) to be part of the protest.
In an appeal uploaded on Facebook on Sunday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah called upon all doctors and staff on contract services to not take part in the demonstration, in that such action would put many lives at stake.
On July 23, the Cabinet had given the assurance that it would agree to appoint medical officers, dental officers and pharmacists by contract for a period of two years once they had completed their compulsory service to ensure continuity of services and preparations for pursuing specialist studies.
The Cabinet had also agreed to extend the contractual appointment to a maximum of four years for medical officers and dental officers eyeing specialisation studies during the contract period of the first two years.
However, the organisers of the movement said they would still proceed with the protest, claiming that the government’s announcement had not done much in resolving this issue. — Borneo Post