Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni has suggested that contract medical officers from outside Sarawak who are currently serving in the state be given priority for permanent appointments.

He said it would be appropriate to do so in appreciation of their service and to attract more medical officers to serve in Sarawak.

“Those who have served more than two to three years and are on contract status should be given priority in the appointment from contract to permanent positions. This will give them more incentive to stay for a few more years,” he said.

Speaking to reporters during his visit to Sarikei Hospital here today, he said the Health Ministry was now looking into the appeals for the appointment of medical officers.

“We will not be able to process all appeals but we will look in detail at appeals from those who want to remain at the facility where they are currently working,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Lukanisman said that there were medical officers appointed to permanent posts who resigned because they did want to serve in Sarawak, while those who wanted to continue serving in the state were placed as ‘reserve candidates’.

He said this was also the case in the states in the peninsula, and also in Sabah.

Lukanisman, who is on a visit to 11 health clinics and four hospitals in Bintulu, Mukah, Sarikei and Sibu Divisions since last Monday, said among the issues identified during the visit was the shortage of medical officers and specialist doctors.

“The total number of medical officers in Sarawak is 2,742, with 1,581 of them permanent officers and 1,161 contract officers,” he added.

He said there were 1,180 vacancies that needed to be filled.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency