Centre nod for 29 more private hospitals from Mumbai to start vaccination
To speed up the third phase of the nation-wide mass immunization programme, the centre on Tuesday approved 29 private hospitals to inoculate senior citizens above 60 years and those above 45 years with co-morbidities. This list includes three private hospitals which the civic body had already selected on Sunday to start the vaccination programme on March 1.
Among the 26 new names are most major hospitals—Hinduja, Lilavati, Jaslok, Kokilaben, Bombay, SL Raheja, Global, Nanavati, Saifee hospital.
On Friday, the central government issued guidelines for the third phase of the mass immunization programme. As per the rules, only private hospitals empaneled under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY) and Central Government Health Schemes (CGHS) were allowed to conduct their third phase in their premises. This disqualified all major private hospitals that come under the umbrella of charitable hospitals for the vaccination.
Following which, Dr Pradeep Vyas, principal secretary, public health department, Maharashtra, requested the central government to allow private hospitals with more than 200 beds and multispeciality facilities with the infrastructure for vaccination. In response to this, the union health ministry changed the earlier guidelines and approved 29 such private hospitals who aren’t empanelled under the government health schemes. This includes the already three selected hospitals—Doshi Hindu Sabha, KJ Somaiya and SRCC Children’s Hospital who have been conducting the vaccination from March 1.
“It is a victorious day for us. Private hospitals are an essential part of the medical healthcare structure. All major hospitals have over 2,000 healthcare staff who can help expedite the process. During the peak of the pandemic, private hospitals played a major role in providing treatment to infected patients. I am happy that the government finally considered that,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali, in-charge of Covid beds in private hospitals.
Just like the present rules, probable beneficiaries will be able to pre-register on the Co-WIN app for an appointment-based vaccination or directly walk-in for vaccination.
“This will give a huge boost to mass immunization. As soon as the state government releases the government resolution, we will start the process,” said Dr V Ravishankar, chief operating officer, Lilavati Hospital, Bandra.
At present, these will be given a daily target of 100 vaccination. But doctors say that to expedite the vaccination, they need to increase the target to 300. “It is a welcome move. With this gradually, they have to boost up their daily vaccination to around 300. The faster we can vaccinate people, the faster we can develop herd immunity, breaking the chain of infection,” said Dr Deepak Baid, president of Association of Medical Consultant.