Private Doctors, Nurses, Clinical Assistants Haven’t Received Covid-19 Jab: MMA

The Malaysian Medical Association wants data on how many of an estimated 40,000 to 45,000 private health care workers have already been vaccinated.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Private nurses and clinical assistants in certain states have not been included as frontliners to get the Covid-19 vaccine, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) said today. 

MMA president Dr Subramaniam Muniandy, in a statement today, also highlighted complaints from doctors working in the private sector who have yet to be listed for priority Covid-19 vaccination.  

He also pointed out that many private health care workers will be involved in vaccinating the public under Phase Two and Phase Three of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Program (PICK). 

“It should also be noted that currently, only the private doctors have been identified as frontliners to be vaccinated,” Dr Subramaniam said. 

“Clinical assistants and nurses have not been included as frontliners in some states. Clinical assistants and nurses are equally exposed to risk of Covid-19 infection and therefore, should be vaccinated together.” 

The country’s largest doctors’ group also complained about a lack of planning and coordination between the state health departments (JKN) and the district health offices (PKD) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the Covid-19 vaccination programme, specifically for private health care workers. 

Due to this, many private health care personnel’s names have been missing from the line listing for the first phase of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.

“MMA recently received complaints from private doctors whose names did not appear on the PKD’s list for the vaccination,” Dr Subramaniam added.

MMA said it had taken the initiative and submitted a list of 28,000 health care workers registered with it to respective states to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The doctors’ association proposed to the government to set up a portal to enable private health care workers to check their names, date, and place of vaccination. 

“It should be a centralised system to allow health care workers to register directly to avoid duplication and redundancy. It is after all a centralised policy with local implementation.” 

The president also highlighted that PKDs are helpful, but most of them are already overwhelmed with additional administrative duties on top of their existing work. 

“The Ministry of Health (MOH) should assist them with process automation to ease their work,” Dr Subramaniam said. 

MMA also stressed that private GPs and their staff should be vaccinated before they assist the government to vaccinate people in Phases Two and Three of PICK that target high-risk groups and the general public. 

The medical association urged the government to publish separate data on the number of health care workers from the private sector who have been inoculated against Covid-19, noting that there are an estimated 40,000 to 45,000 health care workers from 9,000 GP and private specialist clinics.

Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said last Monday that he has instructed the Health deputy director-general (public health) Dr Chong Chee Keong to speak with all state health directors to ensure that private medical frontliners are listed and to get them vaccinated by the month of April.  

As of April 1, a total of 498,468 frontliners have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 241,758 have been completely vaccinated.

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