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Contract Doctors Announce Second Strike After Disappointment With #Bajet2022 Proposals

"After two years of battling hard against COVID-19, contract doctors' sacrifices are still not appreciated," said the group.

Cover image via Farid Janudin/Malakat Tribune & Afiq Razali/Utusan

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The Hartal Doktor Kontrak movement will be holding a second strike after claiming that Bajet 2022 did not address their problems

In a statement on Twitter on Monday, 1 November, the group lamented that Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz did not consider their issues when tabling the government budget for next year.

"The contract doctors' issues and the problems with our healthcare system, which will affect the future care of Malaysians, were not taken seriously," wrote the movement's secretariat.

"The offers that were given did not make sense and are merely a waste of time."

A group of contract doctors participating in the Hartal Doktor Kontrak protest at Sungai Buloh Hospital on 26 July.

Image via Afiq Razali/Utusan

Under Bajet 2022, read by Zafrul on 29 October, the government promised to extend 10,000 medical, dental, and pharmacy officers' contracts from two to four years

The government also said that they will allocate RM100 million to sponsor 3,000 contract doctors and dentists to pursue specialist training.

However, Hartal Doktor Kontrak said the proposals are just "bait" to stop them from speaking up.

The group's key demands, as per their first nationwide strike on 26 July, is for the government to offer them permanent positions that come with better employment terms than their current contractual placements.

"This discussion has gone on for five years and there is still no solution. The promises of permanent positions with Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is just bait to stop us from speaking up," said the group.

"After two years of battling hard against COVID-19, contract doctors' sacrifices are still not appreciated."

A group of contract doctors participating in the Hartal Doktor Kontrak protest at Kuala Lumpur Hospital on 26 July.

Image via Rohanis Shukri/Harian Metro

The movement also expressed disappointment with the Ministry of Health (MOH) for failing to protest the Bajet 2022's proposals

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had previously promised to work with the group to find solutions. However, he has yet to respond to their current statement.

"With this, we from the Hartal Doktor Kontrak movement declare that 'Hartal Doktor Kontrak 2.0' will be held as a sign of protest," the group said.

The group has not specified a date but plans to have the second strike in December.

On 26 July, Hartal Doktor Kontrak organised a nationwide walk out amid the pandemic to call attention to their plight:

In July, the group also claimed that doctors were dropping out of public service due to burnout and frustration: