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IJN consultants deny their demands led to privatisation

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Dec 2008: National Heart Institute (IJN) medical consultants have refuted the perception that its privatisation proposal was in response to demands by medical staff for higher remuneration.

The 34 medical consultants said they were not in a position to dictate the outcome of Sime Darby’s privatisation proposal to IJN’s stakeholders.

“However, the perception that the privatisation proposal was in response to  demands for higher remuneration by its medical staff was misconceived and must be corrected accordingly, to safeguard and preserve the trust placed upon us by our patients,” they said in a statement today.

It was reported that Sime Darby had made a proposal to the government to acquire equity in IJN Holdings Sdn Bhd, the operator of IJN.

IJN is currently the leading medical heart centre in the region and is 99.99% owned by the Finance Ministry.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today that the deal had been postponed until an in-depth review was undertaken by the relevant ministries.

The consultants said they were salaried based on a different pay scale from the Health Ministry, and though it was not on par with the private centres, periodic review of the salary scale was usually undertaken, subject to approval from the Finance Ministry.

They said, out of a total of 35 consultants, only seven had left IJN to work either in local or overseas private centres over the last seven years of IJN’s operations.

“True to any organisation of our size, there will be people leaving the organisation at various times to pursue different career paths,” said the consultants.

They added that their annual attrition rate was only 3%, and that they had responded consistently over time to promote home-grown talents to fill the void, accordingly.

Currently, 75% of the IJN consultants have been in their posts for more than 10 years.

“As proven from our attrition rate and longevity in serving this institution, it is logical to surmise that on the whole, we are happy with the current scheme and proved it by remaining with IJN,” they added. — Bernama


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