Why this hurry? IMA on government move to collect health workers’ data for vaccination

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Published on Oct 28, 2020 11:43 PM IST
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BySteffy Thevar

Pune: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has slammed the government’s decision to forcefully collect details, including Aadhaar and birthdates, of health workers, even non-medical staff, from private hospitals who will be prioritised for Covid vaccination. The association said that there is something fishy given that these minute details have been forcefully sought in just two days.

IMA has been at loggerheads with the government as the former claims that the government has not been on talking terms with them especially when it comes to taking any medical decision during the pandemic.

Dr Avinash Bhondwe, president, IMA Maharashtra chapter said, “We had sent about 150 letters to the government since the pandemic struck the city but we have not got any reply. These correspondences range from issues, including insurance for private doctors, shortage of drugs and oxygen, requisition of hospital beds and capping of price.”

HT had reported that the Central health ministry has asked states to prepare a list of healthcare workers from all districts in order to prioritise them for the Covid-19 vaccine, whenever made available. The list will be prepared by district collectors who have been appointed as nodal officers for the task. The ministry had said that healthcare workers to be prioritised for vaccination will include front-line workers, nurses, paramedical staff and also clerical staff. The guidelines suggested by the Central ministry states that all healthcare workers, including those from private facilities, will be prioritised.

Bhondwe said, “Why do they need the Aadhaar and PAN card details of class four employees and clerical staff? I have got calls from members that they have received the letter seeking database just two hours before the said deadline. Why is there so much rush when there is no clarity on the vaccine status?”

Bhondwe alleged that the government is seeking this database only to have a detailed record of the health workers who could later be harassed just like doctors have been harassed. He said, “I feel that something is fishy as to why they need so much data in such a short span of time. I have told all our members that this is a voluntary task and not a mandatory one.”

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Thursday, December 09, 2021