Doctors have always been some of the most valuable community members among us, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when they risked their lives and time with their loved ones to serve and save the sick.
Hence, shouldn’t we at least treat them with respect and care by paying them better and providing them with the rest they need to tend to their own physical and mental health?
Due to being underpaid and overworked with no permanent positions, contract doctors are now planning to go on strike and protest their maltreatment, as announced on the Mogok Doktor Malaysia Instagram page. They have since also urged the general public to avoid public hospitals during the period of their strike, from April 3 to April 5 (Monday to Wednesday).
Mogok Doktor Malaysia wrote, “Dear Malaysian people, kindly DO NOT visit any General Hospitals or Klinik Kesihatan from April 3 to April 5, 2023, as there are more than 8,000 contract doctors who are going for a job strike by taking medical/emergency leave, as a protest against the unfair system and low wages. So, your time of waiting is expected to be much longer than usual.”
They further clarified that the doctors will not perform walkouts, demonstrations or flashmobs. They will merely take leave for those days and those who want to resign (an estimated 3,000 doctors) have also been urged to conduct a mass resignation.
“We are already exhausted, fed up and burnt out, (we) need some rest for our own mental and physical health.”
Out of this strike, these contract doctors, who are all currently working under the Ministry of Health (KKM), hope to achieve:
- Permanent posts for all current contract medical officers.
- An increase in their on-call rate (which is currently at RM9 per hour).
- A solution to the severe understaffing issue of doctors at public hospitals and Klinik Kesihatan.
- An auto reduction compulsory service to 3 years without procedures.
- A reduction of their long working hours.
- The re-placement to original regions after 2 years of serving in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan without any conditions.
“Contract doctors are humans too, we deserve to be treated humanely otherwise how do we treat humans then?”
This would not be the first time contract doctors have gone on strike to fight for the same rights as the current protest. 2 years ago, they also held the #HartalDoktorKontrak (Contract Doctors’ Strike) demonstration, an online campaign that calls for contract doctors to go on strike on 26 July, 2021.
What do you think? Shouldn’t our contract doctors be treated and paid better?
Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.