Faced with an increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore, a hospital group in the republic has sent out a message on social media inviting medical officers (MOs) from Malaysia to work there on a contract basis.
Besides offering a reasonably attractive salary upon conversion to the Malaysian currency, the advertiser said all necessary documents required for Malaysian doctors to be employed in Singapore would be fast tracked.
“Quarantine, work permit and Singapore Medical Council licensing will be fast tracked so that they can start work immediately. Graduates from non-MoH (ministry of health) approved medical schools can also apply,” the viral message said, adding that those interested were required to have at least three years of experience.
Checks with the contact person named in the message confirmed that the offer is from the HMI Group, a regional private healthcare provider with a presence in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
According to the terms of the offer, the MOs will be paid a monthly salary of S$3,500 (RM10,796) for four days of work with a 12-hour shift.
“Thereafter, S$300 (RM925) will be paid for each additional 12-hour shift that they take on for the month. In addition, S$10 (RM30) will be paid for every telemedicine consultation performed,” it added.
HMI said the contract would be for a minimum of six months with the possibility of longer term arrangements based on the performance of the doctors.
“They must be prepared to care for Covid-19 patients in an in-patient setting. Training and PPE (personal protective equipment) will be given. Assistance with housing will also be provided,” it added.
A doctor who contacted the advertiser was told MOs would be assigned to Covid-19 recovery centres and treatment facilities.
According to the health ministry of Singapore, 1,651 cases are currently warded in hospitals with 327 requiring respiratory assistance and 66 in the intensive care unit.
Source : FMT
Thousands of young contract doctors in Malaysia’s public healthcare system, many of whom are at the forefront of the country’s Covid-19 battle, are revolting over a years-long issue – the poorer employment terms offered to them than to their predecessors.
An online campaign called Hartal Doktor Kontrak (Contract Doctors’ Strike) has gained traction over the past week, and was trending for hours on social networking site Twitter on Monday (June 28).
The association representing government doctors in Malaysia, MMA Schomos, has also launched a social media campaign asking all Malaysians to wear black for a “Black Monday” in mid-July in solidarity with the doctors.
But the biggest concern is the purported plans by an independent group of doctors to stage a walkout on July 26 if their grouses are not addressed by then. According to the doctors, the majority of the contracted staff are the ones working in dozens of Covid-19 response centres in Malaysia, as the country continues to struggle with thousands of cases every day amid a limited supply of hospital beds.
Malaysia said on Tuesday (June 29) that it has recorded 6,437 new coronavirus infections. The last time it reported more than 6,000 daily cases was on June 18, when the country logged 6,440 cases.
The revolt involves more than 20,000 Malaysian doctors who had been offered only contractual positions by the government under a system introduced in 2016. What was initially supposed to be a stop-gap solution to the government’s inability to offer permanent positions continued and the contracts kept getting extended, and for more and more medical graduates. Government service is compulsory for new medical graduates for around five years.
Being on a contract for years, these doctors take home significantly lower pay than their predecessors, and do not enjoy most of the benefits that come with working in the civil service. Postgraduate pathways to progress in their careers are also not open to them.
Only 3.47 per cent, or 789 of 23,077 contract doctors, have been given permanent positions, leaving most of them with little hope of attaining greater job security.
Medical associations are estimating that there are more than 4,000 doctors graduating every year, and this problem will likely continue compounding unless the government finds a solution.
“What kind of public healthcare system will we have in 10 years’ time? Most of us do not have pathways to specialisation,” a contract doctor told The Straits Times on condition of anonymity.
In order to specialise, the contract doctors need to quit government service, pay their own way, and then apply to rejoin the government service at the final stage of completing their master’s.
Should they wish to switch to the private sector without pursuing postgraduate pathways, they need to serve at least 4½ years with the government before making the switch.
Permanent doctors are allowed study leave and can easily rejoin government service to complete all the necessary steps to finish their specialisation.
Contract doctors also start at and later progress through lower pay grades in the Malaysian civil service. Their grade revisions only happen via contract renewals, and are not automatically based on years of service, as in the case of permanent staff.
Source : Straits Times
Health Ministry should explain why 100 contract doctors rejected offers for permanent positions, says MMA
The reasons why permanent positions offered to 100 contract doctors were rejected should be explained by the Health Ministry, says the Malaysian Medical Association.
Its president Prof Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniady said MMA had requested for clear and transparent criteria of the selection system for those eligible to be selected for permanent posts but had yet to receive any clarification.
On Wednesday (Aug 25), Health ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah said a third of 300 permanent positions offered to contract doctors this month had been rejected, adding that the positions would no longer be offered to those who turned it down.
He said that of the 300 positions offered, 85 rejected the offer while 15 resigned after gaining employment elsewhere.
Dr Subramaniam said the 15 doctors who resigned from government service needed to be looked into although it was only 5% of the total posts offered.
On the 85 doctors rejecting the offer, Dr Subramaniam said more clarity needed to be provided why they did so.
“MMA has received information that some doctors who have quit prior to this exercise also received this offer,” he said.
He added that with many in the system awaiting offers for permanent posts, it did not make sense why those who left received the offer.
In reference to media reports of doctors refusing to serve in permanent positions in Sabah and Sarawak, Dr Subramaniam said if permanent posts were a priority, then the placement offered should not have mattered.
“These doctors should consider this as national service and agree to be placed where the need is. Once the pandemic is under control, they should then be allowed to apply for placements of their choice based on positions available,” he said.
He added that the 100 rejections should also not affect the pandemic’s human resource management as there are many more among the 23,000 junior doctors who are still awaiting offers for permanent posts.
Dr Subramaniam pointed out that the MMA had also written to the Health Ministry on Aug 3 to request for information including the attrition rate, the total number of permanent positions offered from each cohort, the cost difference between hiring doctors on a permanent and contractual position and some other information but have not received a reply to date.
He believed that these figures would help them to assist the government to come up with a framework or policy for junior doctors.
Source : The Star