Aliran supports the call for the permanent employment of all frontline health workers, including contract doctors.
These personnel have been subject to all kinds of risks for the health and welfare of Covid-19 victims.
These temporary contract doctors, along with the permanent doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel, have been at the front line in the battle against the pandemic, and we are grateful to them.
So, we find it odd that these contract doctors are not being absorbed into the public health sector on a permanent basis. They should be entitled to the same salaries, bonuses and benefits as permanently employed medical staff. We cannot imagine that employing more doctors could lead to any harmful consequences for the people.
If the Perikatan Nasional government and the Ministry of Health are concerned about the costs of making them permanent staff, we propose that the headcount of the bloated cabinet be slashed. We also propose that the salaries of ministers, deputy ministers and permanent secretaries be chopped by half. What’s more, we can redirect money from the hefty salaries, fees and other emoluments of the directors and managers of government-linked companies to the public healthcare system.
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Finally, we expect that the doctors going on hartal will take all necessary precautions to ensure that their absence will not jeopardise the lives of their patients.
Aliran executive committee
23 July 2021