KUALA LUMPUR: The government has made it mandatory for the installation of automated external defibrillator (AED) devices in public facilities by 2025, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

An AED is a medical device to analyse the heart rhythm and deliver electric shocks to victims of ventricular fibrillation to restore their heart rhythm if cardiac arrest occurs, especially in public places.

Khairy said the matter would be brought up to the National Council for the local governments to support its implementation, in line with the government’s decision this morning to approve the AED public access, which was to place the device in public areas.

“We will start with a programme known as a network of MyAED Komuniti (MyAED Community) where the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) and St. John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) will provide 100 AEDs as a start throughout the country.”

“They are also responsible for maintaining the AEDs and, most importantly, training volunteers to use the device,” he told reporters after a working visit to MRCS national headquarters here today.

Khairy said the AED installation project will be launched this June with an allocation of RM3 million.

Meanwhile, he said the Ambulance Hotspot project, which was a continuation of the pilot project implemented last year, SJAM and MRCS would add 15 hotspot localities nationwide, bringing the total hotspots to 20.

“We target the ambulance response time, between 15 minutes and 30 minutes for priority emergencies within less than a 10-kilometre radius.

“That is our key performance indicator (KPI). We have approved an allocation of RM5 million,“ he added.

Earlier, Khairy witnessed the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the cooperation between MRCS, represented by national deputy chairman Dr S. Selva Jothi, and SJAM, represented by its commander-in-chief, Datuk Lai See Ming.

The MoU aims to increase cooperation in ambulance service programmes, community first aid, disaster relief, and health promotion while supporting the Ministry of Health’s initiatives to improve the delivery of health care during emergencies or crises.

It is also to coordinate services and resources to provide better services.

In a separate development, Khairy said no legal action would be taken against the recipients of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine who have yet to receive their booster shots but they would lose their fully vaccinated status on April 1 and would no longer receive privileges accorded to fully-vaccinated individuals. — Bernama