Allow more private GPs, govt clinics to administer vaccines instead of relying on mega PPVs

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, June 15: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen has called on the Sarawak government to allow more private medical clinics to participate in the rolling out of Covid-19 vaccines.

He said that there are more than 300 private medical clinics throughout the State, but only 42 were approved by the Government to administer vaccination.

“According to the latest government statistic available, as at 2015, there were 328 private clinics in Sarawak. By now, conservatively, there will be approximately 350 private clinics in Sarawak.

“Out of this figure, less than 15 per cent of the private clinics were approved to administer vaccination. That is extremely low participation from the private general practitioners (GPs) in this largest national vaccination programme,” he said in a statement today.

On the government side, as at 2019, there are in total 23 government hospitals and 273 government clinics including Klinik Kesihatan, Klinik Desa and Klinik Komuniti.

“Out of these total number of 300 government hospitals and clinics, only 130 were identified to administer the vaccines,” he noted.

Chong observed that the State government was more inclined to the set-up of mega vaccination centres (PPVs) like the Stadium Perpaduan Petra Jaya, which to him, was unwise as there will be problems such as over-crowding of people, increasing the chances of infection, over-work for the frontliners and the logistical issues of the people getting to these centres.

“Yesterday, hundreds were made to queue under hot sun for hours before they could receive their vaccination.

“According to my information, the government has doubled the number of people to receive vaccination at the Stadium yesterday from the previous 2,000 to approximately 4,000.

“Though the long wait yesterday may be attributed to the power outage of the Stadium, but the crowding and longer-than-usual wait happened even on the previous day when the targeted recipients were over 2,000 individuals.

“As such, I call on the government to give more incentives and encourage more private GP clinics to participate in the vaccination programme, to fully capitalise the 273 government clinics throughout Sarawak as small-scale PPVs and set up more mobile teams for the rural areas,” he elaborated. — DayakDaily