SEPANG, June 7 — There is an adequate supply of medicines at all government health facilities, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“So far, there is no disruption, supply of medicines is always sufficient. We will continue to monitor to ensure the stock level of medicines at our facilities are sufficient,” he told reporters after launching World Food Safety Day today.
Previously, the media reported that there was a shortage of supplies of medicines and raw materials for pharmaceutical products due to high demand following the post-Covid-19 pandemic and resumption of economic activities.
Khairy, however, stressed that the situation was reported to have occurred in private health facilities including pharmacies.
According to him, among feedback received by the ministry during an engagement session with pharmaceutical industry players on June 2, were shortages in medication for diarrhoea, fever, cold, flu, cough, antibiotics and vitamins, especially vitamin C.
Khairy said he had instructed the pharmaceutical services division to work with pharmaceutical associations in the country, including drug manufacturers, to look for alternative sources of medical supply to tackle the shortage issue.
He had also asked the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Harjeet Singh, to prepare medium and long-term plans and strategies in preparation to face a shortage in medicine supply in the MOH’s health facilities.
In a separate development, Khairy wanted the hospital directors and heads of departments to report immediately if there was any shortage of manpower or vacancies at their respective facilities to avoid adding the workload of medical officers.
“I would not be satisfied if there is a complaint about the situation,” he said, commenting on a complaint by a medical officer who claimed his wife had to undertake on-call duty daily for three months as her colleague had gone on maternity leave.
Khairy said the ministry was waiting for a report from a special task force that investigated allegations of a bullying culture in government hospitals to find solutions regarding work schedules, work ethic and on-call allowances.
Khairy also urged all MOH medical officers to respond to the survey forms emailed to them.
“The survey is important because there are in-depth questions about the working environment in the MOH,” he said, adding that so far, 40,000 MOH medical officers have completed the survey form.
He targets some 60,000 medical officers to participate in the survey to ensure accurate and comprehensive information was received by the special team, which was set up last month. — Bernama