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Malaysia to release medicine stockpile to private hospitals, clinics to address shortage

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR) – Malaysia will release its federal medicine stockpile to private hospitals and clinics to address a persistent supply shortage, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday.

“The shortages of cough, flu, fever and kids’ medication continue to persist at health facilities,” Khairy Jamaluddin was quoted as saying in the Star.

“Pharmaniaga Bhd manages the stockpile, and I have instructed the medicines to be released to the private hospitals and clinics facing shortages.” The decision was made after a meeting between the Malaysian health ministry and stakeholders on Thursday, the Star reported.

A shortage of common medications has been reported in Malaysia recently, prompting the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) to advise the public in June not to panic buy and unnecessarily hoard medications.

Among the steps taken by the ministry last month included allowing private healthcare facilities to borrow medicines from government facilities and permitting patients to purchase medicines from community pharmacies with a prescription from private clinics or hospitals.

File photo of medical personnel outside the Ajwa Private Clinic in Shah Alam on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AFP