15 July 2009

'Medical perks draw more to civil service'

PUTRAJAYA: More people are seeking a career in the civil service because of the benefits it offers, Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam says.
One of the attractions is free access to medicine and treatment which 600,000 retired civil servants continue to enjoy.

Ismail said even the cost of specialised treatment abroad was fully borne by the government. He was speaking at a meet-the-press session at his office on the perks, allowances and other benefits accorded to civil servants and pensioners.

Ismail said the government paid out RM8.3 billion in pension, gratuity and other benefits to retirees last year.

He cited a case where about RM1 million was spent on one retiree who had to seek specialised medical treatment in Australia last year.

"Of course, no one wants to fall sick but the government does provide all these benefits for retirees and serving government servants."

On average, the government spends RM100 million a year on medical bills for pensioners.

"That is why the prime minister has always emphasised the need for those in the civil service to be more productive, innovative and effective. It is only fair that we continue our relentless efforts to enhance productivity and performance.

"After all, the government has put in place a whole package of benefits, including those that are not in financial forms, for the 1.2 million civil servants in the country.

"In some cases, if they are not sent abroad for specialised treatment, we will make the necessary arrangement for the specialists to come to Malaysia.

"When certain medicine is not available in government pharmacies or hospitals, we will buy no matter how expensive it is from private clinics or hospitals."

Ismail said there was no reason for civil servants, whether they were still in service or had retired, to complain.

"We should all play our roles in whatever way we can to help achieve the PM's vision of 1Malaysia and take the civil service to a higher level," he added.

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