KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Health director general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said the decision to stop administering vaccines at private clinics was done contrary to his advice. 

In a tweet last night, he said that he had proposed to increase the participation of General Practitioners (GP) in the country under ProtectHealth Corporation (PHCorp), and that he was satisfied with the progress made by these GPs. 

“Contrary to my proposal to increase the participation of GPs in the country under PHCorp. I have visited the GP practice myself and (am) happy with the progress made,” he said in a tweet. 

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to Klang MP Charles Santiago, who questioned the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force’s (CITF) decision to stop vaccination appointments at 741 private clinics, several private hospitals and ambulatory care centres in Selangor. 

“What’s the motive: @DGHisham? Stopping vaccination appointments at 741 GPs and closing critically needed PPVs arbitrarily in the Klang Valley. Are we facing vaccines shortages? Or just the usual planning failure,” he said on twitter, tagging new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri in the tweet as well. 

Yesterday, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy urged the government to include some 8,000 private GPs nationwide for the final stretch towards achieving herd immunity in the ongoing National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP).

Dr Subramaniam said the association was puzzled as to why the CITF had abruptly decided to halt vaccination appointments at 741 private GP clinics, several private hospitals and ambulatory care centres in the Klang Valley.

He pointed out that the affected healthcare facilities were given 48-hour notices by CITF to cease vaccination administrations.

Dr Subramaniam said participating GPs were informed by the CITF through a circular issued by ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd — an incorporated entity formed under the Health Ministry — that private vaccinations will be disallowed under the NIP.

In the circular attached, ProtectHealth said the Operation Surge Capacity implemented from July 23 to August 1 had achieved its intended objective of administering at least one dose of vaccine to all registered adults in the Klang Valley.

CITF then said a decision was made and no further vaccination appointments will be given from August 23 onwards.