The Association of Private Hospital of Malaysia (APHM) is urging the government to establish an internationally recognised vaccine passport with Covid-19 test results to be linked in MySejahtera app.
APHM president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said the vaccine passport is an important digital platform that uses robust blockchain technology in identifying travellers' information on vaccination certificates, testing results and quarantine periods observed.
Dr Kuljit said the vaccine passport must be recognised globally, connecting travellers to different platforms to ease travelling journey.
"We are concerned about our safety and the arrival of medical tourists from other countries, especially the recognition of their vaccination and testing status.
"We urge the government to allow us to participate in these negotiations to include us as we also need to give our input.
"We are an interested and concerned party (private hospitals). We should have a seamless method of uploading the required information through the digital application," he said.
Dr Kuljit said this certification has to be 'reciprocal' in ensuring the information's authenticity for the vaccinations and testing.
There had been discussions with China and Singapore for the recognition of Malaysia's digital vaccination certification on a global platform.
Dr Kuljit also said APHM is positive that the government has vaccinated most of the healthcare frontliners.
By end of this month, he said the initiative will cover almost 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the private healthcare frontliners.
"Malaysia vaccination programme should be enhanced. About 60 registered private hospitals will assist the government's vaccination programme beginning next week.
"With this public vaccination, we hope private hospitals can procure their own vaccines to further vaccinate more people especial, the economic frontliners to achieve herd immunity at a faster rate, thus facilitating in business reopening and tourisms," he said.
Dr Kuljit said APHM is in talks with the government to allow the private hospitals to procure different vaccines by offering the option to the public.
"It will be paid by the patients, an alternative choice provided for the patient for those who want to get the vaccine for specific reasons, for example, students and business fraternity," he said.
Private hospitals are likely to procure the vaccine beginning in October at earliest due to the limited supply of vaccine worldwide.
"However, we feel that it will be too late for economic frontlines to restart their businesses as they run a risk of infection, while their production and business work will get hampered, denting the economy.
"We have proposed to have the private vaccine programme earlier than October this year," he said.
Dr Kuljit said the government had progressively done a good job to inoculate most of the medical frontliners.
However, the second and third phases of the vaccination programmes should be well-promoted as the public's response for registration was slow.
According to Health Ministry's latest report, so far 434,301 people have been fully vaccinated and 671,589 people have received their first dose and are currently waiting for their subsequent doses.
Currently, about 8.83 million people have registered for the vaccination programme under MySejahtera.
Dr Kuljit said private hospitals had initiated their assistance to help the government in promoting more public for vaccine registration
Among others initiatives such as creating health test, kiosk and information booth within the hospitals building to enhance vaccine registration.
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