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