PETALING JAYA: Private health establishments are allowed to borrow supplies of medicines from government facilities, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The measure, along with a few others, will be able to curb the issue of shortages of medicines currently faced by some private health facilities and community pharmacies, he said.

Other measures include having the patients referred to the nearest public facility, where their medication regimens might be adjusted based on the availability of the medicine.

Alternatiely, patients can also buy their own medication at community pharmacies using the prescriptions given.

“The Health Ministry hopes the measures can give a temporary solution to the issue of medication shortages at private health facilities and ensure continuous quality health services to the people,” he said in a statement yesterday. He was responding to reports claiming medicine shortages at certain places.

Khairy said his ministry is working on long term solutions to address the issue. He added that the ministry has also shared information on alternative medicines that private health facilities and community pharmacies can offer patients to cope with current supply issues. The list will be updated from time to time.

This measure is taken to reduce the impact of the current shortage and to ensure optimal use of the other generic drugs which are still available in the market, he said.