The government’s registration process, which gives local parents or guardians of babies aged below one priority to purchase seven popular brands of baby formula of up to five tins per month, will start today.
Only babies holding a local ID card will benefit from the scheme.
The government promised on Friday it will guarantee that parents of babies under the age of one will have priority when it comes to purchasing baby formula to respond to a “sudden” public health issue.
The plan came in the wake of locals’ growing chorus of complaints about infant formula supply shortages apparently caused by China mainland visitors’ bulk-buying in Macau.
To do this the government introduced the – “Interim Plan for Support to Mothers and Babies” as a short term solution to the current situation.
According to the plan cited by The Macau Post Daily today, the government today will start a registration system at eight public health centres for parents or guardians for a card that will give them priority when they go to purchase baby formula.
The plan states that the parents or guardians of babies younger than one year who have a local ID card can apply for the formula priority cards.
Seven days after priority registration the parents and guardians will be able to choose among several brands of baby formula, according to the plan.
The government previously vowed that it would ensure that parents and guardians of babies aged under one would not have to worry about purchasing baby formula.
According to earlier local Chinese-language media reports, the card will enable applicants to buy five cans of baby formula of any of the seven most popular brands.
According to previous media reports, the government will act as an intermediary between those registered in the baby formula “support plan” and suppliers, apart from ensuring that the price of the baby formula will not go over the recommended retail price.
The Health Bureau (SSM) said in a statement that the parents or guardians did not need to hurry to register today as there is no cut-off date. Once parents have registered all they have to do is go to the designated location to purchase the baby formula seven days after registering. The statement did not say where the locations would be.
Local parents have constantly complained that the brand of baby formula they usually feed their new-born babies is often in short supply. It is often seen that mainland tourists bulk-buy different types of baby formula in the city.
According to current regulations, a permit for the importation of baby formula for infants aged under 12 months of age must be obtained from the Health Bureau.
The government said last week that there were about 7,000 babies born in Macau last year.
Observers say that many mainland tourists bulk-buy infant formula in Macau because they do not trust products on sale at home. (macaunews)