KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Private hospitals said they still want to procure and roll out Covid-19 vaccines separate from the public inoculation programme for paying patients.
Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Dr Kuljit Singh said that a private vaccine rollout will allow early access to coronavirus shots for economic frontliners and the public who require early vaccination for their own reasons.
“The government will have to assist us in this process, particularly when dealing with the manufacturers,” Dr Kuljit said in a statement.
Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has previously pointed out that Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers typically only carry out negotiations with governments and not the private sector.
However, private hospitals can now join the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) in vaccinating the public for free and get payment of RM14 per dose administered from ProtectHealth Corporation, a fully-owned company by the Ministry of Health.
“We feel the two remaining phases of vaccine strategy should be reviewed so that there is some enhancement of the vaccination process. The high risk individuals in the second phase should not be left out but at the same time the third phase recipients should be considered to have their vaccines early,” said Dr Kuljit.
Meanwhile, Dr Kuljit also asked for representatives from APHM to be included in the national vaccine committee to assist the government in managing the vaccine rollout in upcoming months.
“Finally, it’s still unclear on the acceptability of MySejahtera with most countries in recognising our Digital Vaccination Certificate, particularly when our citizens need to travel.
“Our concerns remain on the arrival of medical tourists from other countries and the recognition of their vaccination and testing status. The need to restart the economy is essential,” Dr Kuljit added.
Khairy recently said that he is discussing with Thailand and Singapore on potential travel bubbles while the government is working on ensuring that the MySejahtera app has three rigid backend components — Covid-19 test results, vaccination certificate, and serology test results