New on-call rates for doctors to be announced soon

KUALA LUMPUR: New on-call allowance rates for doctors will be announced soon, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said the issue has been discussed in the cabinet and a decision has been reached after a re-evaluation of current rates, which were last assessed in 2012.

"We have discussed it in the post-cabinet meeting; we have a method to review the matter regarding active and passive on-call.

"I believe that it can be implemented. I have examined the resolution, and in the near future, we will announce it.

"Just be patient. In a short while, the director-general will release a statement regarding this matter," he told reporters today.

Previously, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni had announced at Dewan Negara that the ministry was committed to examining the issue of on-call allowances for doctors.

He said following several town halls conducted by the ministry with medical officers, various suggestions have been put forth to the Public Services Department (PSD) for the increase in on-call allowances.

In November, the Health Ministry announced that it would maintain the current on-call allowances for doctors as it was considered sufficient due to other existing allowances provided.

This includes RM750 per month for critical services incentive; specialist incentive payment (RM2,200 to RM3,100 a month, depending on grade); and allowance for medical officers on duty after office hours at health clinics and hospital emergency departments (RM80 per hour).

The ministry also said that the government's current priority is to address allowance rates for service schemes that receive less than RM100 per month.

The announcement came after the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) suggested a 178 per cent increase in on-call claims for doctors on weekends at a town hall with former minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa in February.

The proposal aimed to increase the rate to RM25 per hour from the current rate of RM9.16.

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