Only Selected Private Hospitals Getting Covid-19 Shots: APHM

States like Melaka and smaller towns in Sarawak have not commenced Covid-19 vaccination in private hospitals for their doctors and staff.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 — Only selected private hospitals have been chosen for Covid-19 vaccination in inconsistent fashion throughout the country, the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) said. 

APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh said that some states like Melaka have yet to commence vaccination for their private hospital staff and doctors and are only slanted towards the end of March or in Phase Two of the national Covid-19 inoculation drive.

“Some of the private hospitals in this state are big economic contributors to the country and state in terms of medical tourism,” Dr Kuljit said in a statement today.

“We hope the vaccination programme can be enhanced in some of these states including the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Some smaller towns in Sarawak have also been left out from the phase one vaccination.”

Dr Kuljit pointed out that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has given assistance and support in managing private health care vaccination centres in various states, but largely in Selangor. 

Besides that, APHM also asked the government to include more private health care establishments as well as private practitioners for Phase Two of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) that targets the elderly and people with underlying health conditions. 

“There are talks with the government in remuneration of recovering costs in private health care establishments by the government so that it will not burden the people,” the APHM president said. 

“We hope with our strengthening partnership with the government, our vaccination exercise can be completed before the end of the year.”

The government recently announced that general practitioners (GPs) can register to sign up as vaccinators with ProtectHealth Corporation, a private company owned by MOH, which will be registering GPs, handling the payment, conducting training, providing a manual, as well as coordinating the vaccination programme. 

Dr Kuljit also asked the government to give more consideration to allow a private vaccination programme after the public rollout by the middle of the year, or latest by third quarter, targeted mainly for frontline workers in economic sectors. 

On March 10, Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin encouraged the private sector to procure their own Covid-19 vaccines approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency. However, Khairy pointed out that vaccine manufacturers mostly deal and negotiate directly with governments only. 

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