8,000 Contract Doctors Are Taking Leave To Go On Strike From 3 To 5 April
A group of government doctors are plotting a nationwide strike for three days from 3 April to 5 April, and are warning the public of longer waiting times at government hospitals and clinics on those dates
According to the Mogok Doktor Malaysia Instagram page, more than 8,000 contract doctors are going on strike to protest against the unfair employment system and low wages.
According to a six-point memorandum on their social media, the group is fighting for permanent job appointments and an increase in their on-call salary, which is currently at RM9 per hour.
They also want the Ministry of Health (MOH) to resolve the severe doctor shortage at all public hospitals and health clinics, a reduction in compulsory service to three years, and a reduction in the long working hours.
One of the posts on the Instagram account also warned the public to not visit any general hospitals or clinics on those three days, as the waiting time will be longer.
The contract doctors involved will only be protesting by taking medical leave or emergency leave.
A third option is for the doctors to resign en masse on Saturday, 1 April. The group said walkouts, demonstrations, and flash mobs are not encouraged.
A spokesman for the group said that for the past seven years, doctors have been raising their concerns to MOH but to no avail
The man, who wanted to be known as Dr Jamal, told Free Malaysia Today that they have shared their plights with the ministry via the Malaysian Medical Association multiple times over the past years.
They even joined the Hartal Doktor Kontrak strike back in July 2021 however, nothing much has changed.
The report cited him saying that contract doctors are not allowed to apply for master's programmes and have no unpaid leave, compared to their permanent counterparts.
On Wednesday, 29 March, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that organising a nationwide strike is not the best approach to resolve the issue
According to News Straits Times, he said that the strike needs to be carefully considered, as it could halt some services — even if they were meant to send a message to a particular group or person.
The report quoted him saying that this involves the healthcare service, which is a vital service as it involves the lives and wellbeing of the people.