MAEPS doctors cancel walkout following threats, organiser says

Ragananthini Vethasalam

Contract doctors go on strike at Sungai Buloh Hospital, the main Covid-19 treatment facility, in Selangor, today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 26, 2021.

DOCTORS at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS) low-risk quarantine and treatment centre called off a walkout after being threatened with police arrest, the Hartal Doktor Kontrak group said today.

“#MAEPS was threatened with police arrest. Threatened by superiors, threatened by police,” the group tweeted.

However, photos have been posted of the facility’s doctors, wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) or all black and holding placards, to show solidarity with the striking fraternity.

The placards read “Protesting but patients are our priority”.

Contract doctors nationwide staged a walkout at 11am today even though the government has offered a solution to the matter of their employment, which lies at the heart of the strike.

The strike kicked off at the Sungai Buloh Hospital, the country’s main Covid-19 treatment centre.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the government would extend their contract while seeking a permanent solution.

The Hartal Doktor Kontrak group organising the protest has rejected the contract extension offer as “half-baked” and said it was not the solution they were looking for.

Director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah last night asked the doctors not to participate in the strike, while reminding them of the oath they took to uphold the ethical standards of the profession.

Hartal submitted a memorandum to the government earlier this month demanding permanent positions for all contract medical officers and for the criteria for permanent employment to be clearly defined.

The group said the three changes of government since the last general election had caused the issue to be repeatedly put on the back burner with a no resolution in sight.

They gave the government three weeks to come up with a solution.

Data from MoH showed that between December 2016 and May, 23,077 medical officers in grade UD41 were selected to undergo graduate training and compulsory service.

However, only 789 of them were offered permanent positions, leaving the rest in limbo. Many have applied for jobs overseas. – July 26, 2021.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.