Pharmacists face hurdles in MCO

PETALING JAYA: Pharmacists are facing difficulties operating during the lockdown as they have not been issued an approval letter by the Health Ministry, says the Malaysian Pharmacists Society.

Its president Amrahi Buang (pic) said the authorities should issue the letter to allow community pharmacists to travel to work as they were also part of the healthcare sector.

“Travelling to work is still problematic because what is needed is a letter from the Health Ministry.

“The ministry has issued a letter for private doctors under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act. As such, it should also issue the same letter for private pharmacists under the Registration of Pharmacists Act, ” he said when contacted.

Previously, Amrahi aired grouses by community pharmacists who encountered problems getting the necessary approval letter from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) to continue operating.

“Pharmacists in Penang have shared that many were not able to print the required approval as they were unable to log into the system despite trying numerous times, ” he said.

Likewise, he said Johor pharmacists had also shared claims that the authorities would come to their premises and ask for the Miti letter.

“Similar complaints were received from pharmacists in Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu, Pahang, Kedah and Perlis, ” he said.

Amrahi questioned the requirement for pharmacists to apply for the Miti approval via the Covid 19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) system.

“Community pharmacies come under the Registration of Pharmacists Act and Poisons Act governed by the Health Ministry and did not need the CIMS/Miti approval letters prior to this latest requirement.

“We urge the government to provide a blanket approval to all healthcare professionals and their workforce in the private sector.

“Pharmacists have been steadfast in our service to the nation and its people to keep this pandemic at bay. Please help us keep this vital service open instead of tying our hands with red tape, ” he said.

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