Press Satatement by YB Kelvin Yii:
I personally object to the recent circular by JPA to remove critical allowances for new doctors, pharmacist, dentist and other critical service workers as majority of them are already underpaid, underappreciated and overworked.
This is in line with the recent Audit report which clearly stated that our public healthcare system is understaffed, overcrowded, underfunded and overstretched.
Such circular does not only demoralises the upcoming batch of new healthcare professionals, but also may affect productivity which as a result again may compromise quality of care given to the patients.
This should not be how we treat our future civil servants who needs to work day in and day out, taking long shifts in the hospital, and also exposing themselves to diseases and infection.
While i understand the need to be prudent in our expenditures, but austerity should start in other areas, even right from the top, without affecting those who really needs it not just as an act of appreciation, but also motivation to keep them in the public service.
We need more doctors in the public sector as we are looking an a further increase of patient load especially in view of our aging society and even prevalent NCDs. That means the workload of these doctors will definitely increase.
That is why it is vital to find ways to incentivise more to stay, not under-appreciating them and pushing them away from the public sector.
If it comes to it, i rather they cut the allowances of the politicians including myself, rather than these young healthcare professionals or other civil servants in the critical sector.
That is why i call on the Cabinet to review this decision, find other alternatives and also explain the whole situation better so a better understanding of the matter can be done and a better solution can be found.
Many Backbenchers including myself have pushed for the Cabinet to make a decision on the matter in the upcoming meeting and to reconsider this directive by JPA. This is the open democratic process we practice where Backbenchers can also scrutinize the executive.
We were informed that this was not discussed in Cabinet and thus hope they will look at this issue objectively and not just on angle or whether this profession is still “critical” is in terms of supply, but also taking in view the increasing workload and risk these healthcare professionals are putting themselves in especially with the increasing patient workload in the upcoming years especially due to our aging society and prevalent NCDs.
We need to find ways to encourage a better quality of care rather than demoralizing our young future healthcare professionals.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching