MMA: Avoid further delays of vaccination for private healthcare workers

THE lack of planning and coordination between the State Health Departments (JKN) and the District Health Offices (PKD) for the vaccination programme may cause further delays in getting private healthcare workers (HCWs) their vaccine shot.

“Currently, only the private doctors have been identified as frontliners to be vaccinated. Clinical assistants and nurses have not been included as frontliners in some states, despite the fact that they are equally exposed to risk of infection and therefore should be vaccinated together,” said the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) in a press statement earlier today.

MMA recently received complaints from private doctors whose names did not appear on the PKD’s list for the vaccination.

At the end of February, upon finding out that the vaccination programme was decentralised and being conducted by the state health departments, MMA took the initiative to send the list of 28,000 healthcare workers registered with MMA to the respective states and updated the list on a weekly basis.

Going forward, the association proposed that to simplify the process, a portal should be set up to enable the private healthcare workers to check online their name, date and place of vaccination.

“There should be a centralised system to allow HCWs to register directly to avoid duplication and redundancy. It is after all a centralised policy with local implementation,” MMA said.

The association also noted that while some states are coordinating well thanks to helpful PKDs, the PKDs are starting to get overwhelmed due to additional administrative duties. It is then suggested for the Health Ministry (MOH) to assist them with process automation to ease the burden.

“It is hoped the government will consider setting up the portal as soon as possible as we are already progressing towards Phase 2 of the NIP. The private GPs and their staff will need to be vaccinated before they assist the Government in vaccinating the population under Phase 2 and 3.

“We also suggest that MOH publish data on the number of healthcare workers from the estimated 40,000 to 45,000 healthcare workers from the 9,000 general practitioners and private specialist clinics. MOH should also provide regular updates on how many of these private healthcare workers have been vaccinated,” MMA concluded. – Apr 2, 2021

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