Dr Adham: Contract doctor issue to be brought to Cabinet

Dr Adham: Contract doctor issue to be brought to Cabinet

PUTRAJAYA: The issue of contract medical officers who have not been absorbed into permanent posts will be brought to a Cabinet meeting, said Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

As of May 31, he said that there were 35,216 contract appointments for the three main schemes, namely 23,077 UD41 medical officers, 5,000 UG41 dental officers, and 7,139 UF41 pharmacists.

“I urge doctors in the existing contract scheme to be patient and calm.

“The working paper has been completed and we will see the decision of the Cabinet later,” he said when asked by reporters about the matter at a press conference on the development of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) here today.

Earlier, Dr Adham said that the MOH had implemented salary adjustment of the contract medical officer scheme, from UD41 to UD43, which was almost equal to the salary of a permanent medical officer.

The media reported that about 23,000 contract doctors will go on a nationwide strike on July 26, after the group’s various efforts for permanent absorption into the service have still failed to yield any result.

Meanwhile, Dr Adham said from the end of 2020 until now, a total of 200 psychology officers have been appointed and will continue in 2022 to deliver mental health services to frontliners and the community.

He said that since the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the mental health scenario in the country showed an increasing impact of mental health problems.

“As many as 91.2 percent of the helpline calls we receive require emotional support and counselling.

“Among the reasons are immense stress, depression, loss of hope to continue living, loss of a source of income, disputes with spouses and family and stigma against infection,” he said.

He added that the Ministry of Health (MOH) and various other ministries and departments are always working in an integrated manner in implementing initiatives in various aspects to address mental health problems.

He said that it included enhancing basic psychology assistance training for frontliners and members of other agencies, implementing the concept of ‘task shifting’ which is community empowerment by providing training and skills to individuals outside the MOH, to deliver advocacy and support as well as psychosocial interventions to the community. — Bernama