PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Pharmacist Association (MPS) has received complaints from pharmacists and its area committees on the recent requirement of applyingto the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) for the community pharmacy workforce to travel to work.
Currently, businesses that want to operate during the current “total lockdown” period must obtain written approval through Miti’s Covid-19 intelligent management system (CIMS 3.0).
MPS president, Amrahi Buang, questioned the need for this letter as the community pharmacy workforce are front-liners who see patients daily and remained open to serve the public for their various health needs ever since MCO was first declared in March 2020.
“Community pharmacies are governed under the Registration of Pharmacy Act (Act 371) and the Poisons Act 1952 (Act 366) governed by the Ministry of Health and did not need CIMS/Miti approval letters prior to this latest requirement,” he said in a statement.
Amrahi is incredulous that food stall operators have received official exemption from the Ministry of Housing & Local Government to operate but community pharmacists that deal with patients’ lives have not. In addition, attempts by community pharmacists to apply and comply has failed repeatedly.
“Pharmacists in Penang have shared that many are not able to print the required approval despite as they were unable to login into the system despite trying persistently numerous times,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor pharmacists have also shared claims that authorities are coming to their premises, harassing the pharmacists and demanding for the Miti letter to be able operate, he added.
“They are also facing problems such as the system showing error and not able to populate the required data.
“Similar complaints were received from pharmacists in Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu, Pahang, Kedah and Perlis.
“To confuse matters further, PDRM has now said they will accept letters from any ministry. However, this does not solve the issue of how to obtain the said documents as the Ministry of Health is not issuing any letters for community pharmacists,” he added.
MPS urged the government to provide a blanket approval to all health care professionals and their workforce from the private sector.
If the police require documentation, they should allow the private sector healthcare workforce to get their company letters signed at the nearest police station to show at roadblocks, Amrahi added.