Health Ministry ready to absorb more contract staff members-Adham

28-Nov-2020 Intellasia | CNA | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The health ministry is prepared to absorb more contract health care workers as permanent staff members based on available vacancies and creations of new positions.

Its minister Dr Adham Baba (above), in outlining initiatives to boost the morale of frontliners battling Covid-19, said the health ministry has also given priority for contract staff members from Sabah and Sarawak to be placed in their home state, with an option for outside placement if their numbers exceed the available vacancies.

Among others, Dr Lee Boon Chye (Harapan-Gopeng) noted that despite strains faced by medical officers on the ground to conduct Covid-19 screenings, there were no announcements made in Budget 2021 to increase the number of vacancies or available positions.

Deputy Health minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali previously revealed that only 5,984 or 56 percent of permanent positions have been created as of September, from a total of 10,675 new positions approved by the Public Service Department last December.

Health care portal CodeBlue quoted Noor Azmi as saying that the created positions comprize 997 medical officers, 154 dental officers, 282 pharmacy officers, 3,296 nurses, 1,008 medical assistants, and 247 dental surgical assistants.

Adham, meanwhile, also said the health ministry is continuously trying to increase the number of specialists in various critical fields.

“The ministry in cooperation with the Higher Education Ministry is offering 1,200 opportunities for medical officers to further their studies in 23 fields.

“Aside from that, the ministry is also offering a Parallel Pathway programme in 14 fields of expertise,” said Adham in his Supply Bill 2021 winding-up speech at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Overall, he said RM218 million had been spent between 2017 and 2020 for sponsorships under the federal scholarship programme.

Lee, a former deputy health minister under the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, however, questioned whether the government is open to review a condition that the scholarship can only be awarded to medical officers with a permanent position.

“I agree that now is the best time for us to plan for the contract medical officers under the health ministry, we need to find a way for them to be offered a permanent position.

“But there are certain procedures that must be carried out and I hope that Gopeng (Lee) will continue to support and offer ideas,” said Adham.

Previously, Adham was reported as saying that a total of 1,335 medical graduates have yet to receive a placement for their training, eight months after approval by the Public Service Commission on December 7 last year.

He also reportedly said that only 3.3 percent, or 665 doctors, of 19,909 contract medical officers were given permanent positions in the public sector as of July 31 this year.

Adham today said a total of 32 MPs in their debates of Budget 2021 had raised matters related to his ministry.

Each minister is given 20 minutes to deliver their winding-up speech but several Harapan MPs today stood up to request deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon to grant Adham extra time, as Budget 2021 has been touted as a Covid-19 budget.

Rashid did not grant their requests but pointed out that Adham’s speech had already extended beyond the allocated 20 minutes to respond to the additional queries raised based on his answers.

Adham, however, ignored RSN Rayer’s (Harapan-Jelutong) demand for an explanation over the fact that he did not touch on the issue of Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing’s slur against Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.


Category: Malaysia

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