KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is considering granting immunisation to non-Malaysian children without a Malaysian birth certificate at equal rates to those applicable for Malaysian children.
According to the Fee Order (Medicine) (Service Cost) 2014, a registration fee of RM40 will be imposed on non-citizen children without a Malaysian birth certificate for vaccination services in government health care facilities run by the MOH, along with an additional charge of RM40 for each vaccine injection.
However, children below the age of 12 who hold a Malaysian birth certificate and have either a citizen or permanent resident parent will be subject to a registration fee of RM1 and an immunisation injection fee of RM5 if they receive immunisation services at MOH facilities.
“The MOH is currently considering the provision of immunisation services to non-Malaysian children without a Malaysian birth certificate at the same rates as those provided to Malaysian children.
“However, the approval process will be conducted on a case-by-case basis, where the power is delegated to the Secretary-General of the MOH to waive or partially waive any fees in accordance with Section 15 of the Fee Order (Medicine) (Service Cost) 2014,” Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said in written parliamentary reply last May 23.
The health minister was responding to Sungai Petani MP Dr Mohammed Taufiq Johari’s question on whether the ministry intends to allow non-citizen children, including children born abroad to Malaysian mothers, to participate in the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) as well as other children’s health service programmes throughout the country.
The NIP provides protection to Malaysian children against 13 major childhood diseases, namely: diphtheria, haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis (JE), measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis (polio), rubella, tetanus, tuberculosis (TB), and pneumococcal infections.
These vaccines are offered completely free-of-charge at all government clinics throughout the country for Malaysian citizens. These vaccines are also available in private clinics where a small fee may be charged.
While non-citizens are generally expected to bear the cost of common vaccines for their children, the MOH has certain exceptions to this policy.
As of January 6, 2022, in an effort to prevent the resurgence of the polio epidemic, the MOH has extended the provision of polio vaccines to all non-national children aged seven and below, eliminating the need for parents to pay for this vaccination.
Moreover, since the polio vaccine is administered as part of a six-vaccine combination at MOH facilities, children who receive the polio vaccine will also receive the other five vaccines.
The six-vaccination combinations provided include immunisation against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B, and polio.
In addition, supplementary immunisation activities (SIA) are conducted as control measures to prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and to halt the transmission of infections during outbreaks.
This additional immunisation is provided free of charge to target groups, typically children, regardless of nationality, once an exemption from fees has been granted. It is also an effort carried out by MOH to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that could indirectly lead to an increased risk of infection among the local population.