PUTRAJAYA – The Cabinet today decided that medical officers newly hired on contract basis on Grade UD41 must pass the Bahasa Melayu (BM) subject at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)-level, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam.
He said the decision was taken to create uniformity in appointments involving medical officers and that the Education Ministry would assist in arranging for sitting of the subject on a singular basis without the need for having to take other SPM papers.
Dr Subramaniam clarified that since 2003, the Public Service Department had given a waiver on the requirement (pass in the SPM BM subject) because there was a need for the Health Ministry to hire trainee medical officers on contract basis.
He said that during their two-year housemanship, they were required to pass the subject (SPM BM) before they could be hired as medical officers on a permanent basis.
“Over the past few days, the issue on the SPM BM waiver has caused much confusion. I wish to have it clarified properly. An official statement on this will be issued by the Deputy Prime Minister.
“I also wish to explain that in 2015, the Health Ministry on its own decided that the SPM BM pass requirement was a condition for appointment as a medical officer.
“So, we put in an application in November 2015, and the PSD replied in early 2016 approving the Health Ministry’s application that all new appointments for medical officers will have to meet the condition,” he told a press conference here.
He was responding to the statement by Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah that the PSD had agreed to provide a waiver on the SPM BM pass requirement for hiring of medical officers on Grade UD41 on a contract basis on Feb 23 this year.
On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had urged Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun, representing PSD, to explain to the Cabinet today on the relaxation of the SPM BM pass requirement for hiring medical graduates on contract basis under Grade UD41.
Elaborating further, Dr Subramaniam said hiring of medial officers on a contract basis was introduced last December following a glut of medical graduates.
He said since then (December 2016), 4,500 medical officers were hired out of which only 23 housemen with the ministry did not have a pass in the SPM BM subject due to various factors.
“During the hiring process, we faced a situation where a small number were not educated under the Malaysian education system because they lived with their parents abroad. The education system they underwent was different and they did not take up the BM subject.
“Today, the Cabinet decided that they be given the opportunity to pass the SPM BM subject during their two-year housemanship,” he said. – BERNAMA