The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) is happy to work with the government to relieve the burden of the people in the management of Covid-19, particularly in controlling the prices of the Sinovac and Sinopharm booster vaccines, as announced in a joint statement by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about immense suffering on a global scale. Hospitals both public and private have played a key role in containing the pandemic swiftly and transitioning the country towards an endemic phase.
This goes hand in hand with increasing accessibility to Covid-19 vaccines and we are supportive of the government’s efforts to promote vaccine equity, which is imperative for the restoration of economic growth.
While it is vital for the government to carry out its duties in the interest of the rakyat, we also hope that they consider the financial implications of this policy on the industry, particularly for practitioners who have bought large amounts of vaccine stock at a higher rate at the early stage, and still have not completed the commercial vaccination exercise.
The Industry continues to remain committed to constructive dialogue with the government on the issue of newer vaccines, which are slated to be sold in the private market in the near future.
It is imperative for the health care industry to operate in an environment that can help the nation’s efforts to contain the pandemic and improve public health outcomes.
The industry hopes that the price ceiling policy by the government remains a temporary one, implemented only in exceptional circumstances. We also hope this policy will not set a long-term precedent for unrestrained government intervention in the pricing of medical products.
Private hospitals have had a close relationship with the Ministry of Health in the last two years at various levels, including sharing resources, treating full paying Covid-19 patients, and accepting decanted non-Covid patients from public hospitals. Most private hospitals have organised vaccine campaigns, and are still operating vaccination centres for both primary and booster doses.
Dr Kuljit Singh is president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.