Putrajaya to release federal stockpile to private hospitals, clinics amid persistent medicine shortage

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The Ministry of Health will be providing the country's private medical sector with medicines from the federal stockpile to address the persistent shortage.

Its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this move is necessary as medical supplies, continue to be in short supply, especially medicines for children as well as for the common cold.

“Small private clinics aren't getting cough and cold drugs as well as medicine for children is still in short supply.

“I made the decision that apart from lending them medicines, we will release MOH federal stocks which is managed by Pharmaniaga.

“We will offer this federal medical stockpile of medicines for private hospitals and medical clinics to overcome this shortage of medicines,” Khairy told a news conference here.

He said the ministry had met with representatives from the Malaysian Medical Association and various pharmaceutical associations and societies as well as private sector medical practitioners to resolve the shortage and acknowledged that the problem persisted even after several steps had been taken.

“So this will be done immediately for the clinics and private hospitals as now the clinics don't have any panadol or cough syrup,” he added.

Since June, medical supplies, including over-the-counter medicine, has been scarce while demand has increased.

A survey that was conducted in seven hospitals and 10 private clinics found that at least one medicine that is usually used to treat common ailments like coughs and fevers is facing a shortage.

Concern has been growing due to outbreaks of the hand, foot and mouth disease affecting children, as well as influenza and increasing cases of Covid-19 reported after the recent Hari Raya Haji holidays.

Khairy said the reason for the shortages was due to higher demand this year compared to previous years.

Part of this is because children who've been cooped up at home for two years due to the pandemic have not the natural immunity to viruses and are now getting sick, he said.

He added that the global supply chain has been hit by the latest Covid-19 lockdown in China and the war in Ukraine.

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