THE Government must take full responsibility and compensate the medical officers for the inconvenience caused by last-minute postings, said the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
MMA president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai said relocating to another state required advance notice for the junior doctors to manage various financial commitments, such as paying rent and bills, making travel arrangements, finding accommodation, and packing.
He said it was unreasonable to expect MOs to report for duty in another state at such short notice, adding that some may even need to make arrangements to care for their loved ones.
“If they are parents, they may need to take their children with them and find a day-care or enrol them in new schools,” he said in a statement.
Dr Muruga expressed hopes that the public services department (JPA) and the Health Ministry would look into the matter and hold the relevant department responsible for such poor planning accountable.
“The JPA and health ministry must take a serious view of the issue and ensure no repeat of such incidents,” he stressed.
Dr Muruga was responding to a tweet by @renugkha who recently her experience of having to uproot at the last minute due to an eleventh hour posting by the Health Ministry.
this was me relocating my entire life from pahang to kedah then downsizing to a few luggages to fly to kuching only to be given a placement 3-4 hours away & told to lapor diri the very next day, bus dropped us off at a junction before the town https://t.co/FCLbWDlTCr pic.twitter.com/36DOpSMZe4
— thepettykutty (@renugkha) January 30, 2023
“This was me relocating my entire life from Pahang to Kedah, then downsizing to a few luggages to fly to Kuching, only to be given a placement three to four hours away and told to ‘lapor diri’ the very next day,” she tweeted, accompanied by a picture of her with her luggage by the roadside.
“Luckily a kind PKD (district health office) driver came to our rescue. I rarely speak about these experiences but this move was one of the lowest points in my career. The system has to change, how long are we expected to go on like this?”
Separately, a netizen who goes by the Twitter handle @ncileo said the Health Ministry should stop giving last-minute placement notices.
“MOs (medical officers) are expected to report for duty the next day after hospital placements are given. The need to relocate manpower in facilities that are lacking is understandable [but] if there are no earlier notices regarding specific hospital placements, it is unfair especially to those whose placements are in other states,” the user tweeted.
Tagging Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa in her tweet, the user pointed out that some MOs have family and other commitments which require better prior planning.
“This has got to change,” the user insisted. – Feb 1, 2023
Main pic credit: iStock