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Rabu, 13 Januari 2010

200,000 Doses Of H1N1 Vaccine For High-Risk Groups From February



KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- Some 200,000 doses of Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine will be allocated for high-risk groups such as pregnant women, children, the elderly and people with chronic diseases beginning next month.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said they could get vaccinated with the vaccine for free at the government hospitals and clinics.

Speaking to reporters after visiting Tung Shin Hospital here today, Liow said the balance of 300,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine from the 400,000 ordered from Britain would be received at the end of this month.

"We will conduct (100,000) vaccinations on the frontline workers first, and then the high-risk groups like pregnant women, the obese, and those with high blood pressure and so on.

"They are our priority before the vaccine is distributed for other groups in preventing and curbing H1N1 infections," he said.

On the H1N1 situation in the country, Liow said it was under control, with the ministry abiding by the World Health Organisation's directive for continuous close monitoring of all cases of flu.

"We are worried if the H1N1 virus will mutate. But our monitoring have so far not shown that the virus has mutates into other forms."

He said the district health officers had also been instructed to obtain all flu samples for further tests.

On another matter, Liow said the ministry would work at enabling private doctors to serve as locums at government hospitals and clinics as soon as possible.

"They told me that they had applied to serve as locums but they never got invited. After our dialogue session with the Malaysian Medical Association last Friday, we will work together at improving health services in the country."

Asked whether the private doctors would want a higher payment as locums at the government hospitals, Liow said the current payment was reasonable at RM80 per hour.

Earlier, he handed over two mock cheques for RM2 million each to Tung Shin Hospital and the Chinese Maternity Hospital for the purchase of equipment and medicines.

Liow called for the setting up of more non-profit-based hospitals to enable the low-income group to seek treatment at such hospitals.

-- BERNAMA

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