CITF To Fix Ceiling Price For Industrial Covid-19 Vaccination Programmes

Khairy Jamaluddin says industries will absorb all additional costs of on-site Covid-19 vaccination programmes, including paying government-owned ProtectHealth Corporation, except the cost of vaccines itself that are provided free by the government.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) will set a ceiling price on vaccine administration charges under the Covid-19 inoculation programme for industries that use vaccines provided for free from the government. 

Vaccine Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today that CITF is working with various ministries, including the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI), Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC), Ministry of Works (KKR), and other government agencies to inoculate economic frontliners in the country.

At the same time, Khairy, who acknowledged a wide range of charges that are being imposed by companies and industries for vaccine administration costs, said that CITF will set a ceiling price for those charges.

“So CITF is working together with the relevant agencies to set a schedule of fair and reasonable charges that will be borne by industries and companies that participate in the PPV (public-private vaccination) industrial programme,” Khairy said in a joint press conference today with Health Minister Dr Adham Baba.

“This is above and beyond the charges paid to ProtectHealth to cover the private health care organisers. This includes the hall rental and all the logistics that are necessary.”

Earlier, CodeBlue reported that the shopping malls are paying to the Ministry of Health (MOH)-owned ProtectHealth Corporation for on-site vaccination programmes.

The Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK) said that from the total of RM50 fee per person for two doses at on-site vaccination in malls, RM30 would go to ProtectHealth. However, ProtectHealth denied collecting payments from shopping centres purportedly rolling out Covid-19 inoculation drives with vaccinators from ProtectHealth.

But Khairy today said that the industries will absorb other additional costs of on-site vaccination programmes, except the cost of vaccines itself that will be supplied to industries at no cost from the government’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).

“Secondly, the industries will bear the cost of administering the vaccination. That will include the payment made to the health care organisations that are organised via ProtectHealth Corporation, which is a fully owned company of MOH,” Khairy said.

“Now the other charges for rental of premises and other services — this is where there are inconsistencies in terms of the additional charges.”

Khairy also announced that the industrial Covid-19 vaccination programme will start on June 16 in Pengerang, Johor, for workers in oil and gas company Petronas.

“We have identified the Pengerang Complex as a high-risk area and we will be starting our PPV industries for employees in Petronas complex in Pengerang on 16th of June and the others to follow.”

Unlike the industrial Covid-19 vaccination programme, the Malaysian government has been covering the cost of administering vaccines, as the government-owned ProtectHealth pays private medical practitioners RM14 per dose for their inoculation services under PICK that has also utilised private health care facilities as vaccination centres. Both the industrial inoculation drive and PICK use vaccines supplied from the government.

Recently, the government of India announced that private hospitals in the country will only be allowed to charge a maximum “service charge” of 150 rupees (RM8.49) per dose in a fixed price of the jabs.

The Indian government said that it will provide Covid-19 vaccinations for free to all adults aged 18 and older from June 21, reversing an earlier decision that allowed states to procure their own vaccine supplies to vaccinate those aged between 18 and 44.

Khairy also said today that the economic frontliners’ vaccination programme will include a wide range of industries in order to pave the way for them to continue operating during movement control orders (MCO) in the country. 

“The arrangement or the discussions that we have been having with various industries, whether they are manufacturing, construction, retail, hospitality, is that if they would like to facilitate the vaccination of their employees, seeing some of these industries operate during the MCOs, we can proceed on a public-private partnership.”

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