#HartalDoktorKontrak: Thousands Of Contract Doctors On Strike For Fairer Job Treatment
The hashtag #HartalDoktorKontrak has been trending on social media for a while now, with most of the posts urging people to support government contract doctors as they plan to walk out of hospitals in protest of the unfair treatment they’ve received under the contract employment system.
Despite being threatened with disciplinary action from their superiors, thousands of contract doctors across the country still went ahead with the strike and proceeded to walk out of government hospitals yesterday (26 July).
Prior to the event, participants were urged to only join the walkout if they were able to find another medical officer to temporarily relieve their duties at work to avoid jeopardising the patient’s wellbeing.
I see anxiety by some about the impact of the #hartaldoktorkontrak tomorrow on patients. This is what they have planned. Among others, those in critical & Covid care told not to walk out unless duties passed to other personnel. Instead they can show solidarity from inside. pic.twitter.com/CWizZS6pED — Aidila Razak (@aidilarazak) July 25, 2021
The walkout took place for 30 minutes, where most participants were seen dressed in black attire and holding up placards when they left their respective health facilities at 11am. According to Malaysiakini, contract doctors at 15 to 20 hospitals took part in the walkout. Photos on Twitter showed a significant number of participants at locations like Sungai Buloh Hospital, Shah Alam Hospital, Melaka Hospital, Ampang Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, and many more.
Compiling #HartalDoktorKontrak across the country: Hospital Sungai Buloh https://t.co/T6qovdjclI — Nailah Huda (@nylahuda) July 26, 2021
Although the walkout was done in a orderly manner with social distancing measures, doctors who joined the movement in Kuala Lumpur Hospital were said to be under police investigation for violating SOPs under lockdown rules.
Peaceful protest.. sop were followed, no crowd in one place. #HartalDoktorKontrak kajang pic.twitter.com/yp90pgJOMj — Wan Aminuddin (@Urra901109) July 26, 2021
“No one is allowed to gather or take part in any assembly at any place for any reason – be it religious, social, sports, wedding, or cultural reasons – without permission from the health director-general. This is stipulated in Rule 10 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations 2021,” said Dang Wangi police chief Mohamad Zainal Abdullah.
However, the movement also received support from notable health officials like former health minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmah who urged authorities to not take action against walkout participants as they are merely exercising their rights as a last resort to protect their job security.