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Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Contract doctors hold aloft placards demanding equal treatment as they go on strike at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital July 26, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — The recent late-hour questioning of doctors at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) Covid-19 quarantine centre by the police has come under fire from the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

Its president Professor Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy said such action is “unacceptable and unreasonable”, given the timing picked by the authorities to conduct the questioning, which took place on Monday.

“First and foremost, if there was indeed an intrusion, should not the department in charge of security at the centre be questioned instead of the doctors? Or are the doctors also in charge of security at the centre?” he said in a statement.

Dr Subramaniam said that if the doctors’ statements were necessary, they would likely be willing to cooperate and give their statements but at a more convenient time for them.

“It was reported in the media that the doctors concerned were asked by the police to give their statements just before midnight until the wee hours of the morning. We do not see the rationale for them to give their statements at such ungodly hours.

“These doctors are frontliners at a Covid-19 quarantine centre, and the authorities should be more understanding of the work of these doctors who are treating such patients,” he said, adding that the centre is overflowing with patients at this time, which can be stressful for all healthcare workers there.

On Wednesday, Selangor police chief Datuk Arjunaidi Mohamed claimed the questioning took place at such a late hour primarily for the convenience of the doctors themselves.

The doctors provided statements on the supposed intrusion of MAEPS by six journalists reporting on the strike by junior doctors there. The journalists will also be summoned for questioning.

The strike on Monday was part of the #HartalDoktorKontrak protests over the perceived unfairness in the existing public health contract employment system.

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