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Contract pharmacists to be absorbed permanently under new system, says deputy health minister

Publish date: Mon, 24 Jun 2024, 09:31 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Contract pharmacists in the Ministry of Health (KKM) will be appointed permanently to their positions without going through a re-hiring process once the new permanent appointment method is introduced.

Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni, however, said that the permanent appointment would be subject to performance and approval of the head of department.

He explained that the current three-year contract appointments are interim until the Public Service Department completes its review of the new Public Service Remuneration System (SSPA).

“The introduction of the new permanent appointment method is a significant step towards addressing long-term solutions to the issue of increasing public service pension liabilities, as well as ensuring the sustainability and fiscal viability of the nation to finance expenses related to civil servants’ emoluments and retirement benefits.

“... From 2019 to April 2024, a total of 2,893 contract pharmacists were appointed permanently,” he said during a special chambers session at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He was responding to a query from Muhamad Islahuddin Abas (PN-Mersing) regarding the current number of contract and permanent pharmacists, justification for contract appointments, and differences in allowances and grade increments between contract and permanent officers.

Elaborating further, Lukanisman said that KKM conducts permanent hiring through the Public Service Commission (SPA) based on merit, appointment requirements according to service schemes, and offered based on vacant permanent pharmacy officer positions.

Meanwhile, he said that based on KKM records, a total of 5,289 contract pharmacists were appointed by KKM from 2019 to May 2024.

He added that contract pharmacists also receive allowances equivalent to permanent officers, as well as other benefits such as leave, medical facilities, quarters, vehicle loans and computers based on applicable regulations.

He clarified that there are no specific conditions or restrictions imposed by KKM on pharmacists for grade increments, especially for candidates who have been confirmed in their positions during their service period and have an excellent work record.

“The process of grade increments for pharmacists is implemented through career progression starting from the date of appointment to permanent service and meeting the grade increment requirements,” he said. — Bernama

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