We are three weeks away from vaccinating teenagers aged between 12 and 17 years old, and 741 clinics in Selangor have been officially notified by ProtectHealth that vaccination appointments will be stopped.
I think in light of these developments, it is only fair to assume that private general practitioners (GPs) will not be included in the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force’s (CITF) plans for the final phases of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
If private GPs are indeed going to be involved, when was the CITF planning to inform them?
If abruptly ending the vaccination appointments at private GP clinics in Selangor meant otherwise, then the CITF should provide a proper explanation.
Of course, private GPs have contributed to only 5 per cent of the vaccinations in the Klang Valley, because it was never in the CITF’s plans to prioritise GP participation from the beginning.
Also, how is it even possible that 107.7 per cent of adults in the Klang Valley have received their first dose? There are still many in the Klang Valley who haven’t even registered for the vaccine, and this includes the high undocumented migrant population.
How did the CITF arrive at this figure? We would welcome an explanation from them.
In the CITF statement issued yesterday, it did not explain the rationale of not allowing private GPs to participate in PICK if they are giving privately procured vaccinations.
Isn’t the goal to vaccinate as many people as possible, and achieve herd immunity in the quickest time possible?
The Health director-general had proposed that GP participation in PICK be increased. but we have seen a half-hearted response from the CITF.
Is the CITF taking advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH), or is it acting independently?
Many Malaysians are still wondering why PICK is a programme under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), when it should be led by MOH.
Perhaps it is time MOSTI or MOH explain this, because the CITF seems to be clueless when it comes to health care.
It is obvious the CITF are not the experts, but they are running the show for vaccinations. Even if they insist it should be them, they should at least consult the experts.
Lastly, many Malaysians are still scratching their heads over why they can’t take a five-minute walk to their private GP clinic down the road to get vaccinated.
These are very difficult times. and the cost of traveling can be a burden for some.
The CITF could help by giving the people what they have been wanting all this while, by making the vaccines available at all private GP clinics nationwide.
Prof Dr Subramaniam Muniandy is president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.