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PETALING JAYA: Why doesn’t our RM70 million National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme’s (NIP) have data integration and appointment system basic data m…

PETALING JAYA: Why doesnt our RM70 million National Covid-19 Immunisation Programmes (NIP) have data integration and appointment system basic data management capability?
This question was posed by Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin(pix) who pointed out that this process can be done with simple filter, sorting and logic functions in Microsoft Excel.
Recently MySejahtera has introduced several new features in Helpdesk, one of which is for senior citizens above 60 years old who have registered but not obtained vaccination appointments, she said in a statement today.
This is a sign that the NIP data integration and appointment system does not even have basic data management capability.
The former energy, science, technology, environment and climate minister minister said in addition, during the vaccine registration process, people are asked to answer several questions including whether they are persons with disabilities or have any comorbidities.
These are all targeted groups for Phase 2 in NIP and they are supposed to be given appointments through simple algorithm in the data integration and appointment system. Why was it not done? Many of these priority groups need to be arranged manually.
Yeo said her office got to know that the vaccination centre in Muar district, that covers for three parliament constituency Pagoh, Muar and Bakri, had reached senior citizens born in 1957 years or earlier on May 30.
We issued notice to people in Muar district to get those who are older to register with us to identify people who fall through the crack and to prepare a backup list for the vaccination centre to call, she said.
We have received more than 500 calls since then. There were even those in their 80s with comorbidities that have not obtained appointment. While we can solve these problems individually by arranging them through vaccination center back-up list at the local level, this scenario has pointed that there are serious flaws in the RM 70 million data and appointment system algorithm.
Yeo asked minister in charge of vaccination, Khairy Jamaluddin, to answer why the CITF data team was not able to extract out the list of senior citizen and priority groups from the database and arrange appointments for them accordingly.
CITF needs to buck-up on its data management capability to ensure the objectives of Phase 2 NIP will be achieved soon. In addition, Khairy should also disclose the qualifications and capability of the data team behind the RM 70 million system as their capability in handling data for NIP is seriously in doubt now, she added.
Lastly, CITF must assess if there is any possibility to improve the capability of the data integration and appointment system in a short frame of time, otherwise they should start looking for a decentralized and simpler system that runs in parallel with this clumsy not-so-smart centralized system to ensure that data management does not become an obstacle for a smooth vaccination rollout.