GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan is calling on private hospitals and insurance companies to join hands in expediting vaccinations for all Malaysians against Covid-19.
Its national vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh today proposed a two-pronged approach: for hospitals to offer vaccination services at cost price, and for all insurance firms to cover the cost of the vaccine shots.
Baljit said this would reduce both the cost burden the government is currently shouldering, and waiting time for all Malaysians to be inoculated.
“We support the recent call by private hospitals to the government to compel insurance companies to revise their policies and cover the treatment cost of Covid-19 patients,” Baljit said in a statement.
“Both the private hospitals and insurance firms, also have their own moral roles to play in helping ease the government’s burden in costs to vaccinate all Malaysians and getting the people immunised speedily.”
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) president Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason this week had called on Bank Negara Malaysia to compel insurance companies to cover Covid-19 treatment for policyholders due to the state of emergency.
“The health services (sector),” Marimuthu had said, “is in a worse state than ever. It is overstretched and cannot take any more patients.”
Marimuthu had said with hospitals saying that they are willing to do their part, it is time for insurance companies to do the right thing by giving their policy holders Covid-19 treatment and hospitalisation options during the nation’s hour of need.
Baljit concurred, and said the time has come for all private hospitals to set up their respective Covid-19 units or departments and work together with the government in easing its already heavy burden in fighting Covid-19.
“The insurance companies,” Baljit added, “should also look beyond simply raking in profits at this time and not be a cause of burden to Malaysians.
“It is high time that both the private hospitals and insurance industry step up to the plate in doing their bit to achieve Covid-19 herd immunity and help with controlling the prolonged pandemic.”