KOTA BHARU: The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Medical Alumni Association (PADU) welcomed the cabinet's decision in agreeing to offer contract medical and dental officers, as well as pharmacists, a two-year service contract after they completed their compulsory service.

Its president, Prof Datuk Dr Jafri Malin Abdullah, in a statement, said the decision reflected the government's concern for the fate of medical doctors as frontliners in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Padu would like to thank the government and all parties involved...it is an initiative and determination by the government in improving this contract system.

“The problems of contract medical officers have raised various reactions in the community, especially to the affected parties, thus causing great frustration and demotivation among them, with many of them are frontliners in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic ,” he said.

Dr Jafri Malin said the post of contract medical officers was created in December 2016 with the aim of addressing shortage of permanent posts, as well as to enable recruitment of medical officers to be made without having to rely on limited permanent vacancies.

“We realise, the problem on surplus medical officers is a chronic one, inherited due to the mistakes in strategy by the previous administration. Hence, proper planning with a clear long -term strategic plan is needed,” he said.

The government, he said, should work to increase the number of Permanent Post for UD43/44 Medical Officer in line with national needs. -Bernama