Dr Zaliha Mustafa says health workers should meet her face-to-face instead.
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Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa has urged public health sector workers against being involved in unannounced strikes, saying these will not help solve any problems.
In a video on TikTok, she urged them to meet her face-to-face to find proper solutions.
I actually have a very good understanding of the issue. Because I am a doctor by training, I am aware of the issue and determined to resolve it as soon as possible. But we must understand that it will take me some time to understand the issues deeper so that the best solution can be found,” and that it would take her some time.Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa
This comes in the wake of a number of reports that several hospitals are experiencing staff shortages and overcrowding.
Additionally, Dr. Zaliha urged health care workers to think more “maturely.”
Insya-Allah, we can meet in person and eventually solve this problem together, and everyone will benefit from it.Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa
This angered netizens on social media.
Twitter user @auntymarx said:
Framing the issue as healthcare workers needing to be ‘mature’ is a way to pit workers against each other in a patients vs healthcare workers type situation. But I hope Malaysians are more, well, mature than that.@auntymarx on Twitter
Another Twitter user @kuihsepotong said:
Typical anti-industrial action rhetoric that gets thrown around every time there is a threat of a strike. The reality is things won’t change for the better unless workers have something to threaten. And the most effective threat has always been collective action.@kuihsepotong on Twitter
Meanwhile @fayekwan_ said:
The Health Minister is urging healthcare workers not to go on strike and to think more “maturely”, amid speculations of an unannounced walkout. But they’ve been stretched to their limits for years. Will we finally see reforms for the healthcare sector?@fayekwan_ on Twitter
Meanwhile, The Star reported that a spokesman from Hartal Doktor Kontrak said they will seek a meeting with Dr Zaliha next week to discuss issues affecting them.
He said any unplanned strike by doctors will not be ethical as it may jeopardise the lives of their patients.
The spokesman, who is also a doctor, said Dr Zaliha’s political secretary had contacted them today and set 22 February tentatively for a meeting in Putrajaya.
We have yet to be given the agenda of the meeting and we are looking forward to it.Hartal Doktor Kontrak Spokesman
He also added that the unannounced strike was never planned by them to begin with.
We had not planned any strikes. If we are going to hold a strike, we will ensure that there will be a notice period given and it will be a planned event. In the last strike, we gave a one month notice and planned it in a way that patients will not be affected.Hartal Doktor Kontrak Spokesman