There is an acute shortage of flu vaccine supplies from the 4 main suppliers and many General Practitioners (GPs) have called the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) to report this problem.
Talk on this is also currently trending on various social media platforms with GPs voicing their displeasure about the supply problem.
They alleged that importance is given to the private hospitals while the fragmented but well-distributed GP clinics are being sidelined.
Each time when there is a vaccine shortage, the GPs are the last to receive supply if there are any stocks.
Normally, priority is given to the public hospitals, followed by private hospitals and the leftovers to the 7,000 well distributed general practitioners that have faster and more convenient access for the people.
Private hospitals should continue to focus on secondary and tertiary care as per the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.
The GPs being the first point of contact and who are close to the community should be given priority by the suppliers but in reality this is not happening.
It is estimated that GP visits annually stands at 70 million. Almost 80 percent of GP patients are repeat or regular patients and the majority are families.
MMA hopes the suppliers will play a proactive role whenever there is an increase in certain illnesses that can be prevented by primary care practitioners.
The needs of patients must come first.
Convenience in access to healthcare will increase efficiency and ultimately, the standard of healthcare delivery in the country.
Dr N Ganabaskaran is the President Malaysian Medical Association
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.