APHM Moots Regional Vaccine Passport For Medical Tourists

Malaysia’s and Singapore’s Covid-19 vaccination certificates use blockchain tech.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) has urged Malaysia to create a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport that can be tested in ASEAN first for medical tourists.

APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh suggested a decentralised blockchain ledger for these Covid-19 vaccine passports that shouldn’t be limited to just inoculation, but also contain data on Covid-19 tests taken before travel.

“We strongly propose to the government to begin implementing such a system immediately,” Dr Kuljit said in a statement.

“We first need universally defined standards for how a digital vaccination passport should work, which can be easily adopted and adapted by other countries. 

“Beginning regionally would be the best option, to test and implement the passport within ASEAN first and this will serve both medical and commercial tourism.” 

Dr Kuljit recommended that Malaysia reopen medical tourism with these vaccine passports once a large group of Malaysians have been inoculated, but not until the end of the Covid-19 vaccination programme as this would delay economic recovery.

Malaysia’s Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said yesterday, after meeting Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, that Malaysia and Singapore were working towards mutual recognition of their digital Covid-19 vaccination certificates that use blockchain technology. 

“Both countries have a traceability feature that tells you the exact batch your vaccine vial came from. We will ensure interoperability between Malaysia and Singapore,” Khairy tweeted.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian, in a joint statement yesterday, said both Malaysia and Singapore would work towards recognising each other’s vaccine certificates to enable cross-border travel in the future.

“The operational details of the Reciprocal Recognition of Vaccine Certificate between Malaysia and Singapore, including the detailed requirements, health protocols, and application process involved for entry and exit into Malaysia and Singapore will be further deliberated and finalised by both parties,” they said.

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