In his response to the questions from Boo Sy-Lyn who is the Editor-In-Chief of the local health news site CodeBlue, Ministry Khairy stated that the government is indeed looking at whether private health care providers can augment NCIP. He pointed out that the government really need to go into the details to see which of these facilities that it can use for the program.
Among such details is logistics as the COVID-19 vaccines generally have specific temperature requirements and thus requires proper planning in terms of transportation and storage. Additionally, there is also the issue of whether these facilities have enough capacity to disperse the vaccine.
The remarks by Minister Khairy are rather interesting as it was only yesterday that CodeBlue reported the government has yet to formally discuss NCIP with private hospitals and clinics, according to the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia as well as the Malaysian Medical Association. Nevertheless, representatives from both associations have said that the private health care providers are ready to provide their help to NCIP, according to the report.
Then again, it has been previously announced that one of the five methods to register for COVID-19 vaccines is to do it manually at private health care facilities. We expect more details to be revealed in due time as NCIP begins to administer the vaccine from 26 February onwards.
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