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Monday, May 31, 2021

Govt cutting vaccine red tape for GPs, preparation still needed - minister


Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today addressed criticism of bureaucracy in getting general practitioners (GPs) onboard Covid-19 vaccination efforts, stating that the government is working on cutting red tape.

However, he said preparation was still needed as the Covid-19 vaccine is different from other vaccines.

"Training is required. GPs say 'Oh, the vaccination is routine for us'. Yes, the vaccinations before are routine but this Covid-19 vaccination is different.

"We have to give basic training for storage and administering the vaccines which are a little bit different - from using the special syringe and other requirements," he told a press conference in Putrajaya.

Khairy said some 1,482 GPs have already been granted letters of appointment to administer the Covid-19 vaccine but only half had the necessary equipment.

"Those who have enough readiness in terms of the cold chain are only 720. This is important because some GPs don't have the data logger on the fridge to monitor the temperature," he said.

The minister said the government is working on cutting bureaucracy where possible.

For example, he said Health Minister Adham Baba has instructed that the Private Medical Practice Division (CKAPS) need not visit the GP's clinics prior to them joining the national Covid-19 immunisation programme.

"We can just do ongoing monitoring. This will ease the process, reduce the bureaucracy, and cut red tape for GPs to join.

"But we have to understand that not all GPs are presently ready with the cold chain storage for the vaccines but we are trying to increase this as quickly as possible," he said.

On May 28, the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners' Associations (FPMPAM) called on the government to simplify the process for GPs to join the National Covid-19 immunisation programme, pointing out that there were some 7,000 GPs available.

However, Khairy said of the 7,000, only a third have registered to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.

"To address the issue of why not 7,000 - the ones who registered are only 2,467. We will try to get at least half of them operational by June," he said. - Mkini

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