PETALING JAYA: Authorities should be reasonable in enforcing standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance when it comes to private clinics, said Prof Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy.
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president said there had been a few cases where enforcement officers had come down hard on clinics that had exceeded the waiting area capacity.
“The authorities must understand that most people who come to private clinics are unwell, and are usually accompanied by a family member or caregiver.
“Some of the patients require immediate care and we cannot turn them away.
“As doctors, I believe we understand the importance of SOPs more than most people who are not trained in healthcare,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (July 28).
As medical frontliners also have infectious disease and prevention guidelines to observe, Dr Subramaniam said general practitioners (GPs) and their staff would certainly do their best to control the number of people allowed in the clinic.
“However, at times, it cannot be helped. This is when we need the understanding of the authorities.
“We appeal to the government for some flexibility to be given in these instances, as GPs are also frontliners and an important component in managing the pandemic,” he said, adding that the GPs also conducted Covid-19 screening, while many clinics are now vaccination centres (PPV) under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
Dr Subramaniam noted that the authorities should realise that many patients who are down with non-Covid-19 health problems are coming to clinics now as all government healthcare facilities are overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases.
“GPs have an important role in ensuring first line and primary care is still available and provided to the population during this time of crisis,” he added.