The Star Online, January 19, 2017
EXCLUSIVE: PETALING JAYA: Permanent employment for doctors, pharmacists and dentists in the civil service is no longer guaranteed.
The Government has started issuing jobs on a contract basis for them since last month as announced in Budget 2017.
According to the Health Ministry, if doctors successfully completed their housemanship within the three years of contract, they would have another two-year contract for compulsory service as a medical officer.
Pharmacists will be hired as provisionally registered pharmacists (PRP) for one year, with a maximum contract offered for two years and for the compulsory service thereafter, one year, with a maximum contract offered for one year.
There is no compulsory internship for dentists and compulsory service for them is one year, with a maximum contract offered for three years.
Health Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min said from last month, 1,219 candidates had been offered jobs on a contract basis by the Public Service Commission.
“Permanent appointments will be based on their merit during housemanship training and recommendation by the Health director-general,” he said in an e-mail to The Star.
The move, he said, is expected to reduce waiting time for housemanship training and compulsory service.
Dr Chen said competent staff who fulfilled specific requirements will get permanent posts but they may not immediately get the posts until there are vacancies.
Their salaries will be backdated to the date of appointment once the posts are available, he said.
He said for government scholars who have not been offered permanent posts in the ministry upon completion of their compulsory service, they could seek jobs in the university and military hospitals and the private sector.
He also said that for this year, the ministry planned to take in 9,300 candidates – six batches of intakes which will involve 5,425 candidates for house officers (housemen), three batches (1,921) for dental officers and four batches (1,954) for pharmacists.
He added that housemen will enjoy the same benefits received by permanent house officers as stipulated in a 2008 circular on contract of service with additional advantages.
Those under this “modified contract” will have full-pay medical leave up to 90 days, and the extension of medical treatment for parents in government hospitals and clinics, he said.
But only those who are appointed as permanent medical officers and have obtained their confirmation in service are eligible to apply for government housing loans, he said.
The monthly basic pay of a houseman is the same as the grade category UD41 of the permanent service which is RM2,947, while a dentist (grade UG41) gets RM2,844 and a pharmacist (UF41) RM2,740. With allowances, they could get RM4,000.
On the criteria for a permanent medical officer post, Dr Chen said doctors must fulfil the service requirements, including attaining a good level of competency and performance of at least 85% in the yearly performance review during their housemanship training or compulsory service.
The permanent posts would also be given to the best talents who have the potential for specialty training and are willing to serve at any place in the ministry’s facilities during their tenure, he added.