Vaccination now available for children without papers, health minister says

Dzulkefly said those who failed to provide proof of identity as a citizen will be charged a fee. — Reuters pic
Dzulkefly said those who failed to provide proof of identity as a citizen will be charged a fee. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Immunisation services are available for all children including those without documentation at all health facilities nationwide says the Ministry of Health (KKM) today.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said however, those who failed to provide proof of identity as a citizen will be charged the immunisation fee based on the Children Healthcare Services Fee under the Fees (Medical) (Cost of Services) Order 2014.

“Fees that are chargeable on children with no documentation are RM40 for registration, consultation and medication (for five days supply) and an additional RM40 for immunisation.

“This vaccination service is available at all KKM's health facilities except at the Community Clinics,” he said during Ministers’ Question Time at Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to a question from Ma'mun Sulaiman (Warisan-Kalabakan) who wanted the ministry to explain the procedure for children born in Malaysia but without documentation, such as birth certificates, to be given immunisation.

He added, the service charge, however, will not apply during healthcare outreach activities at immigration detentions or activities to control disease outbreaks.

“In order to ensure all children are vaccinated, outreach activities are carried out widely by KKM, especially for outbreak control. These include locating the symptomatic cases and the non-immunised children.

“Under the Control of Infectious Disease Act, immunisation is provided to all eligible children free-of-charge in an event of a vaccine-preventable outbreak,” he said, adding that the children of expatriates will be charged RM40.

In a related development, he said the ministry welcomed any parties including international bodies and corporate organisations to facilitate the government, in terms of funding in order to expand the immunisation coverage.

“Indeed, we are unable to do (the immunisation) all due to financial constraints. However, when the financial position improves, I believe we will be able to expand it, especially to children without documentation, illegal immigrants and refugees, who have a higher potential to trigger disease outbreaks.

"I take this matter seriously, because the cost of treatment for any one of the 12 diseases will be much higher.

“For example, the cost for a diphtheria vaccine is already about RM 500, imagine if an outbreak occurred, the handling cost incurred by the government will be much higher. Thus, we need to see the long-term importance of providing immunisation,” he said. — Bernama

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