Family Doctor Concept Still New In Malaysia — Narinder Pal Singh

By CodeBlue | 06 April 2021

There is a perception that the private sector is largely driven by the huge potential of the commercial aspect of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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The CodeBlue article People Trust Their GPs More Than The Government was indeed an interesting read.

Nevertheless, as a member of the public, I would be a little cautious with the contents of the article, which quotes the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations Malaysia (FPMPAM) and the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

First and foremost, the implication that GPs are more trusted has not been verified independently by a third party and does not reflect the findings of any study done specifically to gauge the level of trust in the two entities mentioned.

It is rather unprofessional to make such claims, when these two organisations advocate the necessity for people to make only informed and evidence-based decisions when it comes to health-related issues.

This sort of presumption is dangerous, and can suggest that government health experts and advisors have no or less capability, as compared to those in the private sector.

It is a well-known fact that the private sector is profit driven. And no general practitioner or private hospital is going to provide the Covid-19 vaccination free of charge. 

While the vaccine itself may be free of charge if it is procured from the government or its agents, the peripheral costs will surely be borne by the vaccinated.

To date, neither the government nor private practitioner groups have revealed the suggested fee that will be charged. 

As for the trust factor, know that the ‘’family doctor’’ concept is still relatively new in Malaysia. Again, there is no proven data to back such a claim, as what is being echoed by some medical practitioners. 

Indeed, the Covid-19 vaccination programme requires and demands a ‘’family health team’’ concept, as compared to just the ‘’family doctor’’ trying to play the role of the influencer.

No doubt, there is an urgency to vaccinate as many people in the shortest time possible, but there are just too many contributing variables that will influence the timeline.

As it is, there are already hiccups in the first phase due to delays in vaccine deliveries and the tedious registration process of other Covid-19 vaccines.

The various reports on adverse effects reported worldwide will also directly impact the level of confidence in the currently available brands in the market.

Thus, it is only wise that the private-public partnership on the Covid-19 vaccination drive be defined in a more refined and focused manner for the public.

Currently the perception is that the private sector is largely driven by the huge potential of the commercial aspects of the vaccine.

The private sector should be more proactive in fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities by running campaigns on the vaccination programme, with the aim to denounce fake news, misinformation and inaccurate reporting.

Unfortunately, the private sector is viewed as doing ‘’business as usual’’, rather than caring for the wellbeing of society. 

To insinuate that they are more trusted by the people as compared to the government undermines the efforts that have been rolled out by the government via its health experts.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.
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