KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged healthcare workers who had planned on going on strike over the upcoming days to not do so as it is not the best solution to their problems.
This comes after a group of Malaysian contract doctors threatened to go on strike and carry out a mass resignation due to unhappiness over their working conditions and low salary.
“This matter needs to be considered carefully … (because) healthcare is a critical service, especially since it involves human lives and the well-being of the people.
“So I am of the opinion that strikes, especially (one that is) unplanned, may not be the best solution to any problem … relating to the medical profession or any other professions,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a statement on Wednesday (Mar 29).
He also called on those in the healthcare sector to “remain resilient” in order to face future health crises and also expressed his agreement that the demands of healthcare workers need to be addressed.
“The healthcare sector should remain resilient because the challenges ahead, including the risk of a crisis or a pandemic, may be greater and more complex than what we have experienced before.
“Thus, healthcare workers, who are the main assets of the public healthcare sector, must continue to be given the appropriate attention, including fair wages for their services,” he said.
Nonetheless, Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that a strike would not be the best solution to the issues faced by these workers.
“However, I would like to emphasise once again that a strike is not the best solution and that any problems that arise need to be handled together and in a more prudent manner,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham pointed out that the government has previously acted on requests raised by health officials through the creation of permanent positions, sponsorship of specialised training or advanced training, and time-based promotions, among others.
“I believe, the government will from time to time ensure that all these issues and demands are examined in accordance with the current issues and given appropriate solutions based on the economic capacity of the country,” he said.