CONSIDER ALLOWING PRIVATE CLINICS TO OFFER VACCINATIONS, SAYS LEE LAM THYE
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye
7 Mar 2021
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Chairman of Alliance for Safe Community Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said allowing private clinics to offer vaccinations to the public should be considered.
“The main consideration should be whether or not this will complement the Government’s vaccination programme.
“Here, speed is of the essence. If the private hospitals can supplement the Government efforts to facilitate faster immunisation, it should not be a problem,” he said in a statement today.
“Private clinics are not always profit-motivated. Private doctors have also taken the Hippocratic oath of ethics,” he added.
According to Lee, effort to assist the government in speeding up the process of vaccination it should be welcomed as it is faster to vaccinate more people which will be safer for all.
“Concern has been expressed that allowing private clinics and hospitals to offer vaccinations when there is a shortage of vaccines will exacerbate the problem.
“But we don’t have to be overly concerned. The shortage is only temporary. Soon, supply will catch up with demand,” he said.
Lee also mentioned that it is also important for the immunisation programme to be efficient, transparent, and equitable.
“Recent reports of VIPs jumping the vaccination queue has raised some eyebrows. How did this happen?
“More importantly, who are those who cut the queue? It is not difficult to find out who jumped the queue. This will not go down well on the ground. These people should be named and exposed,” he asserted.
On the question of priority, Lee stated that priority queue could be further refined to place those in their 90s first, and then those in their 80s and then the 70s which he deemed as a more equitable system.
“On the question of transparency, perhaps there could be a daily TV item that gives the latest numbers and other information on the vaccination progress, just as the Ministry of Health gives daily statistics on the Covid-19 situation.
“This will allay any suspicion of queue jumping, if in the announcements, a breakdown is given of the number of vaccinations a day, how many front liners, and how many elderly, and so on.
“This way, public confidence in the vaccination programme will be further enhanced. Confidence in the vaccine must be matched by confidence in the immunization programme. They are two sides of the same spectrum,” he said.
Lee added that confidence building is very essential to achieve herd immunity and that serious efforts must be undertaken by the Government in this direction.
“Equally important, there must be a massive public relations exercise involving non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and the community to engage the fence-sitters and the unconvinced.”