KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Malaysian private hospitals today complained about their inability to purchase three-ply and N95 face masks and personal protective equipment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) said local manufacturers were continuing to export such items, even as private hospitals are calling out for supplies.
“It’s time the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs work together to address this,” APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh said in a statement.
Dr Kuljit also said APHM — with over 140 members throughout Malaysia — was ready to work with MOH to manage the novel coronavirus surge in the country that has surpassed 500 cases.
“The Ministry of Health met with public and private health care providers very recently to work out strategies for public-private partnership in managing this situation. Then, APHM met with a good number of its member hospitals to strategise and to come up with recommendations on how best this public-private partnership will take place.
“These recommendations will be conveyed to the Ministry of Health.”
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said today that MOH was now at the mitigation phase of the outbreak, designating Sungai Buloh Hospital as the Covid-19 centre, identifying quarantine centres nationwide, increasing lab testing capacity for the virus, and working with non-government organisations and the private sector on the outbreak.