KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is holding discussions with the Public Service Department (PSD) to absorb contract medical personnel to the permanent staff without pensions.

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said this is to deal with the workload that exceeds the capacity of available resources, as well as to reduce the burden of the pension scheme borne by the country at the moment, which amounted to RM29.1 billion in 2021.

“We are aware of the burden facing the government with the pension scheme, which in 2011 was worth RM3.1 billion and increased to RM29.1 billion in 2021, So, the way out is to absorb contract workers on a permanent basis, but without a pension, yet they enjoy the same benefits as other permanent workers, like eligible for housing loan,” he said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Negara today.

She was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Jefridin Atan who wanted to know whether the Health Ministry is considering employing more contract doctors to overcome the workload of health workers.

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Meanwhile, Dr Zaliha said due to the increase in cases of non-communicable diseases (NCD) cases, the ministry is facing an increase in the number of in- and out-patients in health facilities, causing overcrowding in hospitals.

“To reduce overcrowding in hospitals, we have implemented a pilot project led by the Special Task Force on Public Sector Reform (Star) which was also established under the supervision of the Chief Secretary to the Government.

“MoH is also intensifying its digitalisation efforts to reduce the workload of MoH members, in addition to implementing scheduling practices that can help ensure members have sufficient rest time between shifts, including giving leave to health workers,” she said. — Bernama

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