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Monday, May 31, 2021

Former minister alarmed at more 'mega' vaccination centres

 


Former minister Rafidah Aziz said she is "alarmed" by Putrajaya's plan to set up more "mega" Covid-19 vaccination centres amid crowding issues.

She said this goes against the goal of having the widest reach possible and ensuring crowd control is orderly and manageable.

Rafidah (above) noted that at the existing large scale vaccination centres, people are already made to wait for hours to get their shot.

She said all vaccination centres should be right-sized in every district by utilising the public halls there, where the standard operating procedures can be better enforced.

"These district vaccination centres should only serve the residents in the district.

"This will enable the effective and efficient keeping of records and traceability.

"We don't need a mega RM70 million IT set up for this common-sense approach," she said in a statement.

Rafidah pointed out that she knew people who lived in Selangor but were allocated vaccination appointment in Perak.

Similar complaints have also been reported by other vaccine registrants. 

"We cannot be wasting time and money doing things on a mega scale," she said.

Rafidah added that Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah should also be included in the Covid-19 vaccination efforts to ensure healthcare infrastructure can be properly mobilised.

The vaccination efforts are overseen by the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply which is co-chaired by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Health Minister Dr Adham Baba.

Former Skudai assemblyperson Dr Boo Cheng Hau

Former Skudai assemblyperson Dr Boo Cheng Hau, who is a general practitioner, also cautioned that such mega vaccination facilities pose the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

"There are more than 1,000 government-run health clinics and 8,000 GP clinics in the country, which should be used as the major sites for the mass vaccination programme, especially for rural and small-town areas," he said.

Boo added that the government should also consider sending healthcare workers for house-to-house vaccination to protect the underprivileged groups.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Scientific and Technological Association in Malaysia (Costam) added to calls to involve private clinics in the vaccination efforts on a mass scale.

"In the UK, the general practitioners’ involvements have been successful. People can be vaccinated nearest to their homes," Costam president Ruslan Hassan said.

He said while it was encouraging that the government announced some 500 general practitioners have been recruited for the vaccination efforts by June 15, more should be roped in.

Ruslan also noted that there were some 8,000 general practitioner clinics in the country.

Last Friday, the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Associations (FPMPAM) called on the government to involve clinics - both private and government - on a mass scale for the vaccination efforts.

"We don’t need apps that do not talk to one another. We need people to go to their doctors and have their jabs on the spot," FPMPAM president Dr Steven Chow Kim said. - Mkini

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