From August 2, 2021, general practitioners’ (GP) participation in the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) in the Greater Klang Valley was suddenly cut off by ProtectHealth.
They are no longer allowed to give the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine unlike the previous arrangement.
This has caused a lot of inconvenience to patients, especially senior citizens and the elderly, who now again have to travel to the big PPV centres and endure the inconvenient and uncertain waiting time and increased risk of infection.
We are again receiving reports that patients from Shah Alam are being sent to Dengkil and some from Puchong to Shah Alam. To start with, GP-based vaccination was one of the solutions for this issue.
Doctors who spent time, money and resources to offer their services are now again left in a lurch and have to answer to irate patients the reason for this disruption to the agreed system.
The FPMPAM is aware of a doctor who complained that he had 500 patients on the back-up list who indicated that they would be having their vaccine from his clinic.
ProtectHealth Sdn Bhd, the company that is supposed to be facilitating GP-based vaccination, should explain why patients are sent to PPV centres where the cost is RM30 per vaccinee, whilst GP charges are merely RM14 per vaccinee, which is more cost-effective.
When asked, the pharmacist at the KKM Pusat Simpanan Vaksin was also at a loss to explain the sudden stoppage. We urge the relevant authority to investigate the reason for this sudden U-turn.
Dr Steven Chow is the president of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations, Malaysia.
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