Game of chess with no pawns – The Star Online

Posted: March 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm

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THE Covid-19 pandemic is World War III in a different sense. Instead of soldiers, doctors and other medical personnel are all fighting against a common enemy now with personal protective equipment (PPE) as our armour and medical treatment as our weapons.

Over the past few weeks, Covid-19 cases have steadily increased in Malaysia. When the existing manpower could not continue to cope with the workload, major hospitals had to seek floating medical officers as back-up support teams in the front line of this battle.

Floating medical officers refer to those who have completed housemanship but are currently in limbo, waiting for their next posting and confirmation on whether they will continue as contract or permanent medical officers.

Many of us readily accepted the call of duty to play the crucial role as pawns on the front line of this pandemic. With our leave frozen until further notice and our next posting put on hold, we are still doing our best to serve the public despite the creeping fatigue and dangers of being infected with the coronavirus.

We obeyed orders as a pawn, hoping that when we advanced to the other side of the board, we would be promoted to higher ranks, be it knight, rook, or bishop not necessarily a queen yet. We just want to be on the same rank as other permanent medical officers.

But no, life isnt like a game of chess. It was revealed last week that no one from the latest batch of housemen (May 2017) have been offered a permanent post and all would remain on contract basis. In fact, this will be the last two years contract offered.

This means that the employment of a whole generation of medical officers will be terminated after the end of another two years.

Our performance during the two years of housemanship did not matter anymore, contrary to what we were told previously. All will be sacrificed come May 2022.

The worst news is that despite being required to work with the same responsibilities as permanent medical officers (UD44), we are not even given the contract medical officer grade (UD43) that was already agreed upon by the previous Cabinet last year.

All contract medical officers are stagnant on the same house officer grade (UD41).

Even though we feel cheated and demotivated now, we continue working every day to fight the Covid-19 war.

We are not turning our back despite being treated like we are dispensable, non-critical and sacrificial pawns.

This is because we know that we are better than the circumstances surrounding us and we do not want the worst to befall our nation.

We will fight till we win this war against Covid-19 together, but the demotivation we feel now is akin to putting a lighted candle in a vacuum.

We will burn out, and this makes us burn out even faster.

On a final note, eventually the strategists might be playing a game of chess without pawns.

Remember that pawns are the pieces that can advance on the board, and if you sacrifice all your armies, you will end up fighting a losing battle alone.



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Game of chess with no pawns - The Star Online

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March 23rd, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Chess