PETALING JAYA,Feb 15: Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan has urged the government to absorb contract health workers into the public healthcare system to help prepare the country for the likelihood of the Covid-19 pandemic lasting a few more years.
Citing some global experts, who have said developing or third-world countries may not achieve the vaccination capacity to fight the pandemic until 2024, Mohamad said Malaysia must prepare for this phenomenon and beef up the existing public healthcare system.
He recommended that the health ministry approve new permanent positions for contract and part-time health workers that were roped in last October to help with the management of the pandemic.
Mohamad, who is called Tok Mat by many, was referring to some 1,200 individuals who had been approved by the Public Service Commission to begin working as health workers on a contract service basis last October.
They comprised nurses, medical assistants, environmental health assistant officers and medical laboratory technologists.
“Contract and part-time health workers working at this time should be offered permanent positions immediately. They have worked during a difficult period and their experience as frontliners is very valuable to strengthen our public health system.
“These workers have carried out their patriotic duties to the country with great sacrifice, even without the promise of a permanent job position,” he said in a statement.
On the speculation that some countries would be battling Covid-19 until 2024 or beyond, Mohamad said this was because larger countries and economies were consolidating the supply of vaccines due to “vaccine nationalism”.
“As a result, there were many countries who have yet to receive the vaccines,” he said.