After a long wait, for some as long as 18 months, contract doctors, dentists and pharmacists are now relieved that they have been taken into government service.
A dentist who wants to be known only as Dr Koh, 25, said the contract job offered opportunity to dental officers who had been waiting a long time for their posting.
“This is a solution to no vacancies available currently,” said Dr Koh, who is among the first batch of health sciences officers employed by the government on contract last month.
She said that without the contract job, medical graduates could not work locally or overseas because they would not have the opportunity to get their annual practising certificate.
“But the problem is, we cannot be promoted to permanent officers posts until we complete the three-year contract and a vacancy is available, while my seniors who were taken in as permanent officers were promoted yearly.
“Even for the better performing staff, they have to wait for a vacancy because there are too many of us,” said Dr Koh who had waited for five months for her posting.
Some 800 local and 800 foreign students graduated in dentistry last year.
She said that as long as they were on contract, the years of service would not be counted for pension and when they work overtime, their hours would be replaced as they were not entitled to overtime pay.
A provisionally registered pharmacist who wanted to be known only as Wong, 24, said there were a number of drop-outs during internship as some could not cope with the stress.
“It’s good for us to have a feel and decide if we really want this,” she said.
Wong, who started work on Dec 13, said it was pointless to be anxious about job security.
“I hope to serve in a government hospital. My interest is in serving the public and I want to work for the community. If I don’t get to serve there, I will go back to the academia and do research,” she said.
She said some interns did not plan to work in a hospital setting for long and preferred to work with pharmaceutical companies while others were interested in retail, hence training in hospitals enabled them to understand patients’ needs.
news source: thestar.com.my