Stepping in as vaccination centres


The vaccination team from Columbia Asia Hospital in Miri all set for the inoculation exercise.

COLUMBIA Asia Group has taken a proactive step to register its hospitals as vaccination centres (PPV) since the opportunity was opened to private hospitals.

This was carried out via applications submitted to ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd (Protect- Health), a wholly-owned non- profit subsidiary of ProtectHealth Malaysia, established under the Health Ministry.

Columbia Asia regional emergency services coordinator Dr Sharonpal Singh said although the hospital setup was small, they were determined to fight the pandemic and speed up the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.

“Our hospital team designed and constructed viable workflows and organised dedicated rooms and space so we can serve as a PPV,” he said.

Currently, Columbia Asia Group of hospitals is working with Health Ministry through its eight branches that are functioning as vaccination centres, namely Bintulu, Iskandar Puteri, Miri, Setapak, Puchong, Seremban, Taiping and Tebrau.

Some 160 on-ground Columbia Asia hospital staff have been assigned to man urgent vaccination exercises in Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Perak, Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur.

The number of vaccines allocated for each volunteering hospital depended on available resources such as space and manpower.

Collectively, the eight Columbia Asia hospitals have a capacity of vaccinating 600 people a day.

In order to expedite the vaccine rollout among corporates, collaborations have been formed.

Columbia Asia Hospital in Bintulu and Petronas collaborated to set up an industrial vaccination centre at Kidurong Club in Bintulu to vaccinate about 5,000 employees since July 5.

From July 8, Columbia Asia Hospital in Miri joined forces with healthcare company Qualitas to vaccinate oil and gas employees at the Petronas Carigali office in Lutong.

The hospital is also the first PPV in the Columbia Asia group to roll out vaccinations on May 25.

The latest to join this effort is Columbia Asia Hospital in Taiping, which was a relief to the community as previously there was only one vaccination centre there.

The hospitals’ medical officers are on site to do pre-vaccination assessment and post-vaccination observation.

If there are any worrying side effects within the observation time, the patient will be treated at the hospital.

If they develop symptoms after returning home and need treatment afterwards, they can choose to go back to the same hospital or to the nearest medical facility.

Dr Sharonpal encouraged everyone to do their part by registering with MySejahtera app for the Covid-19 vaccination.

“We hope the public will not walk in without a MySejahtera appointment or try to make an appointment directly with our hospitals.

“Our hospitals will contact you prior to your appointment.

“For those who have not registered or are not convinced to take the vaccine, we urge you to register because unvaccinated individuals can serve as a reservoir for the virus to mutate.

“Vaccination provides immunity and has been largely protecting us even against the newer variants,” said Dr Sharonpal.

He added that Columbia Asia hospitals in Bukit Rimau and Klang were now conducting phase III clinical study on a new vaccine before it is rolled out by the government.

For details, visit its “Covid-19 Care Support” page on its website.

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