Malaysian Doctors Stage Walkout Against Contract System Amid Worsening Outbreak

Malaysian doctors under the contract system have staged a strike calling for job security and better pays, amidst the country’s surge in Covid-19 infections which has overwhelmed the healthcare system. 

Contract doctors across the country have called on the government to address their concerns in a walkout called the Hartal Doktor Kontrak (Contract Doctors’ Strike), as doctors bear the brunt of a healthcare system pushed to the brink, on Monday. 

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government will extend medical workers’ contracts for two years, on Friday.

The previous government which introduced the contract system in 2016 has hindered junior doctors’ career advancement as well as job security, according to the doctors.

“23,000 of the 52,000 doctors in MOH (45%) are on contracts, and they are mostly on the COVID-19 front-lines. They are not receiving the job security, equal terms and career progression that they deserve. As they have cared for Malaysians, we must now care for them. And as we care for them, we are also caring for ourselves,” said Dr. Khor Swee Kheng, in a post by the Hartal Doktor Kontrak’s official Facebook page.

Malaysia reported a record 17,045 additional cases on Sunday bringing the total infections at 1,027,954.

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