PETALING JAYA: Health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa has thanked public healthcare workers for refusing to join a planned three-day strike by contract doctors which fizzled out.
Zaliha said the health ministry appreciated the healthcare workers’ commitment and professionalism in serving the people.
“Prioritising patients over their own interests continues to be their aspiration. The professional code of ethics among medical officers and others must be preserved.
“I thank all healthcare workers for being ready to offer their service to Malaysians and for rejecting the strike,” she said in a statement today.
Zaliha said the strike organised by a group called Mogok Doktor Malaysia (Malaysian Doctors on Strike) was threatening and provocative in nature, and claimed the group had its own interests in mind.
She said the group was willing to put people’s safety and lives at risk.
She reiterated that going on strike was not the best solution to resolve the issues in the public healthcare system, particularly involving contract doctors.
“Every issue must be handled more prudently and professionally through the right platforms,” she said.
More than 8,000 contract doctors had been expected to go on strike from last Monday to Wednesday by taking medical or emergency leave. They were said to be protesting against what they described as an unfair system and low wages.
Mogok Doktor Malaysia had warned of longer waiting times at health clinics and government hospitals during the three days.
However, checks by FMT at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Serdang Hospital in Selangor found that the hospitals had operated as usual with little to no lack of manpower.
The Malaysian Medical Association also said it found that no strikes had been held in any public healthcare facility nationwide.
On April 4, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced that the government was committed to absorbing 12,800 contract doctors into permanent positions within the next three years.
Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat that nearly 4,300 contract doctors will be offered permanent appointments this year alone at a cost of about RM1.7 billion.
He said the government was looking at solving the issues facing contract doctors in stages.
Source : FMT