Increased on-call pay for doctors denied by government

Increased on-call pay for doctors denied by government

Increased on-call pay for doctors denied by governmentThe Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) requested an increase in on-call allowances for doctors.

The government denied the proposal, citing a 2019 service circular from the Public Services Department (JPA) and Finance Ministry as its legal constraint.

The health ministry responded to MMA in writing two weeks ago, stating that considerations must also given to the financial circumstances of the country and the status of other services with regard to allowances.

The ministry claims that after submitting numerous petitions and appeals to JPA in 2020 and last year, all of them were turned down.

“At the moment, the government is of the view that the current on-call allowances are appropriate as doctors enjoy many other allowances. They are critical service allowance (RM750 monthly), specialist incentive (from RM2,200 to RM3,100 monthly), and locum allowance to work off-duty hours (RM80 per hour).


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“Others are elective surgery allowance (RM200 for specialists and RM80 for medical officers per hour) and for hospital administration (RM1,520 to RM2,480 per month according to grades),” the ministry said in the letter sighted by FMT.

Since the on-call charges have not increased in ten years, the MMA has been advocating for a raise.

MMA recommended a 178% rise in doctors’ weekend on-call claims to RM25 per hour during a town hall meeting with Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa last February. The present amount, according to MMA, works out to an hourly cost of RM9.16.

The government, however, disagreed with the reported rate, claiming that it was inaccurate to divide the RM220 daily on-call stipend (the amount for weekends and public holidays) by 24 hours.

Public health physicians observed that their Singaporean counterparts receive SG$ 60 per hour for on-call work.

In a different case, government physicians appealed to the health ministry to consider the length of time they worked as contract physicians when determining their retirement benefits, which included their pension. However, the request was denied.

Whenever contract doctors fulfilled their obligations or appointed as permanent officers, they would be eligible to receive a gratuity payment.

“Their years of contract service is also taken into account when they are considered for time-based promotions,” it added.

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