PETALING JAYA: Reiterating that it is not involved in the current call to strike, the Hartal Doktor Kontrak (HDK) movement has asked to be included in a high-level committee formed to address the woes of contract doctors.
“In light of recent events, we (stress) that we have no direct or indirect influence in ‘Mogok Doktor Kontrak’,” HDK said in a statement on Monday (April 3).
“We have explained our stance to Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa, the Malaysian Medical Association, Royal Malaysia Police and the media, and stand by it.
“Although we are not involved, we believe it is their right to protest and leave (it) to them,” it added.
HDK hoped that patient care would not be jeopardised and healthcare services resume once the protest, said to be from Monday to Wednesday (April 5), was over.
Mogok Doktor Malaysia was expected to see contract doctors taking emergency or medical leave as a sign of protest during this three-day period beginning with the so-called “Black Monday” which also called on participants to change their social media profiles to black or monochrome, and to wear black.
However, several social media users tagged HDK in their tweets in relation to the strike, when the group had previously stated it was not involved and did not know who was behind it.
“Dr Zaliha recently spoke about a new high-level committee to tackle contract doctors’ plight.
“We believe it is (a) correct step… given that it involves multiple ministry officials.
“However, we urge that Dr Zaliha include us on the committee to properly represent contract doctors,” it added.
HDK said without proper representation of contract doctors, the committee would not have enough impact and have the same outcome as previous efforts to tackle the issue.
“The next step is to set up a national healthcare commission that will oversee, decide on and improve our nation’s healthcare services. We will work with Dr Zaliha and other ministers to expedite this process,” it said.
Dr Zaliha said on Saturday (April 1) that the Cabinet had agreed to set up the committee which would include several ministries and agencies, as well as the Chief Secretary to the Government.
It would focus on issues related to contract doctors that have been widely publicised in recent years, she said, adding that strikes were not the best way to resolve problems in the medical field. – The Star