Fair Wage Scheme and Equal opportunity in Postgraduate Training for Junior Doctors!

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It all begun with the emergence of the newly created contract scheme for the House Officer back in December 2016. Currently, the first batch of these House Officers have successfully completed their 2+1 years of contract of service, and are now competent doctors with full MMC registrations.

In June 2019, the first cohort of contract Medical Officers (MO) were appointed, amounting about 50+ junior doctors. The other 450+ of the first batch were finally absorbed as permanent, after a 6 months' wait as floating MOs. No prior hints were given and no transparency of the method of selection was announced by the MOH of Malaysia. This sudden news were continued with 2 more waves - the Second Cohort being on the late October and the Third Cohort in early November this year.

In total, the amount of MOs being forced into the contract scheme is currently more than 500. Not to mention, the amount of junior doctors graduating from Housemanship programme monthly has kept on piling and training hospitals are now flooded with "floating" MOs that are anxiously waiting for their placement and future employment status.

Not only that, the newly appointed contract MOs were not given any pay raise nor grade progression in the civil servants' scheme. They ought to remain in the grade of UD41 for the next 2 years, as opposed to their permanent counterparts. The difference in wage is not just "a little" as proclaimed by the Ministry, the basic salary itself differs at RM664 per month and totals up to RM7,968 per year, excluding the yearly increment. This is not only deemed stagnant, it also is a disgraceful downgrade of the wage scheme, as the House Officers' wage has an added Flexi allowance that amounts RM600 more. The workload as a contract Medical Officer with grade UD41 is no different from their colleagues on the permanent UD44 schemes. So, where is the fairness in this? Is this just another form of cheap labour, or some call it modern slavery?

Another big concern is the fair chance to compete into Postgraduate training programmes (Masters/Residency) in Public Universities. These programmes have strict entrance eligibilities and that includes a permanent employment status and 3 years of experience in the field applied. This is viewed as unfair and discriminatory. The Ministry has proposed an alternative/parallel pathways for post-graduate training, but this does not apply across all the speciality trainings such as the surgical based programmes.

In addition, there is no job security after the 2 years contract ends. There was no proper guidelines announced for criteria of permanent employment after these MOs have completed their compulsory service. This is again, very vague to these young budding doctors.

Thus, we demand that the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the Public Service Department go into great detailed re-considerations on the new contract scheme. We urge the public to sign this petition to highlight our concerns into public awareness and to gain invariable support in our cause!

"Where there is unity there is always victory!" - Publilius Syrus