So, finally the first batch of HOs under contract has been given. I was made to understand that 1300 contract posts were given out after the last SPA interview conducted in October 2016. These were graduates who were waiting since early this year. Interestingly, I was told that none received permanent post. Even JPA scholars were only given contract post and it seems, the agreement that you have with JPA has nothing to do with MOH. There is no guarantee that you will be continued to be employed just because you are a JPA scholar! This comes as a surprise even to me as the scholarship contract specifically says that you will be bonded with the government for 10 years. Only from this year, the scholarship contract was redefined as convertible loan. What happens if the scholar is not able to get a permanent job with the government? Does he need to pay his bond? An interesting question.
The good news is, those who received these contract post were able to get their posting in December 2016(in just 2 months after interview), as long as they are not choosy in picking their hospital on e-housemen portal. But they still waited for close to 7 months to even be called for interview.
There were many questions on the pros and cons of being under contract. Frankly, as long as you are under contract, the salary and leave benefits will be the same. However, you do not get to enjoy other benefits such as house or car loan. Applying for a bank loan may also be difficult as you do not have a permanent job. The government can also terminate you immediately if they find you are incompetent, missing in action or have poor track record. These will definitely keep the HOs on their toes. Below I attach snapshot of some of the “Syarat-syarat pelantikan secara kontrak”
Number 13, 14 and 15 might be on interest for some who intend to pursue post graduate education. Number 13 and 14 clearly says that the government can terminate you anytime by giving a 30 days notice or immediately by giving 1 month salary. Number 15 is another interesting statement about application to be absorbed into permanent post. The first and foremost criteria is “availability of post“! This is were I am worried as the number of permanent post available may not be the same as the number of HO’s graduating. They have also listed the criteria that may be used to decide on who will get the permanent post. Basically, you need to complete your housemanship as per requirement (which means within 3 years), have good track record and gets good recommendation from HOD. …………
Somehow, I feel this will remove all the dead wood graduates from the system. However, I am also worried about lack of transparency in making such selection. Those who are hard working and got no issues in completing housemanship should not have any problems. I feel there should be some sort of committee to make such decisions to be fair. Contract post also means that HOs can stop demanding this and that. The motto will be ” you tak suka, you boleh keluar“, the most favourite statement from our politicians. Your contract can be terminated.
The contract also clearly says that government is not obliged to provide permanent jobs to everyone:
So, what happens to those who do not get permanent post after 4 years contract? Firstly, you need to find a job: either open a clinic, join as emergency department MO in private hospitals or find another non-medically related job. Secondly, all your ambition to become a specialist will have to disappear unless probably FRACGP organised by Academy of Family Physician of Malaysia, join as a private Master’s candidate at local university(you pay full fee and very limited seats) or probably do some non-clinical, part time courses.
Whatever it is, the government will not be able to absorb everyone. They are not obliged to provide every graduate a job. Many may end up with a license to kill…………. Medicolegal cases are going to increase by leaps and bounds………
Finally after settling my tax issues with IRB, I am off again for a long holiday of 3 weeks……… Sayonara to everyone…..