KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Doctors in public healthcare facilities who have to work on Saturdays and public holidays will be paid a locum allowance immediately, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad announced today.

He said the locum allowance is retained at RM80 per hour, The Star reported this afternoon.

“We studied the matter and we finally received approval from the government to pay all doctors who put in locum hours at public healthcare facilities RM80 per hour immediately,” he was quoted as telling reporters in Putrajaya after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Health Ministry and IHH Healthcare for cancer patient care today.

He said the payment for the allowance will be processed immediately.

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Local news outlets previously reported that doctors who did locum work at public health facilities were not being paid despite working extra hours on Saturdays and public holidays.

Two days ago, the Health Ministry issued a statement saying that medical officers directed to work on Saturdays and public holidays are still eligible to claim the locum allowance and they can claim replacement leave if they work from 9am to 1pm on Sundays.

This is after the ministry implemented a pilot project to extend the operating hours of health clinics near hospitals.

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