BAU (Sarawak): The Ministry of Health (MOH) has not set a timeline to finalise the proposal to absorb contract medical staff into permanent service via the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution scheme.

Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said the initiative would require amendments to be made to the Pensions Act 1990 and discussions were still being held with the Public Service Department (JPA).

“We are studying (the need to amend the act) and discussions (with JPA) are ongoing as it involves not just schemes under medical officers,” he said after attending the PeKa B40 health care pogramme here today.

He said MOH was examining the proposal in a comprehensive manner as it also involved medical staff in the pharmacy and dental sectors, in addition to solving the shortage of medical personnel such as nurses and physiotherapists.

Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa told the Dewan Rakyat that efforts to absorb contract medical personnel into permanent service without pension benefits were being made to tackle the problem of work overload and ease the burden of the pension scheme which cost the country RM29.1 billion in 2021.

However, she said permanent staff on the EPF scheme would still be entitled to other benefits enjoyed by pensionable personnel, such as housing loans through the Public Sector Home Financing Board (LPPSA).-Bernama