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Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Sungai Buloh Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Sungai Buloh Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 — The team behind the #HartalDoktorKontrak (HDK) movement pushing for contract medical officers to be given permanent posts said yesterday it will be organising a second event in protest of the recent Budget 2022 announcement.

In a statement posted on its social media accounts, the team said Budget 2022 does not in any way address contract doctors’ struggles, which have been highlighted in the past.

“It seems that the contract doctors’ issue, which will jeopardise the people’s health, is not a serious matter to the government.

“HDK sees that serious steps have not been taken to address the plight of contract doctors,” the statement said.

At the same time, the team said promises made by the government do not make sense and seem a waste of time.

Under Budget 2022, the government announced that 10,000 trainee doctors’ contracts will be extended by another two years.

“Apart from that, the Health Ministry did not offer any objection to the Finance Ministry regarding this issue in defence of the contract doctors.

“Issues that have been discussed for the last five years have yet to be resolved. Two years after the contract doctors worked so hard, it seems like they are not appreciated,” it added.

In July, following a hartal by contract doctors, a special task force led by the Malaysian Medical Association and the Ministry of Health was set up to oversee an amendment of the Pensions Act 1980 to solve the problem.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reportedly said that the amendment should allow for permanent employment with Employees Provident Fund (EPF) payments within two years of all contract extensions given to the some 23,000 contract doctors currently employed by the government.

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