Make public audits on Covid-19 labs, MMA urges health ministry

The MMA concerned is over middlemen taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic by commercialising screenings.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has called upon the health ministry to make public all its audits on laboratories doing Covid-19 tests.

In a statement today, MMA president Dr N Ganabaskaran said the association had observed the recent trend of middlemen, unrelated to the healthcare sector, taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic by commercialising such screenings.

It stressed that the Covid-19 crisis should not be seen as an opportunity to make money, compromising on patient safety.

Ganabaskaran reminded the public that registered clinics and their doctors are required to comply with stringent standard operating procedures to get approval for screenings, triaging booths and onsite sampling.

“The majority of the public, who are unfamiliar with these stringent protocols, would be more attracted to the lower pricing without being aware of any compromises in the quality of care,” he said.

“There have been reports that pooling of samples is being done while conducting RT-PCR tests by those who may be price undercutting, compromising on the quality when conducting these tests.

“Since the sampling method for RT-PCR and Antigen Rapid Test Kits (a cheaper alternative) are the same, are the ‘gold standard’ RT-PCR tests actually being done? And who conducts an audit on these tests?

“We urge the health ministry to make public all their audits on laboratories and on how these tests are being conducted.”

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