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Mumbai’s top hospitals not able to participate in Covid vaccination 2.0

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on March 01, 2021

Top private and charitable hospitals in Mumbai were not able to participate in the expanded national vaccination programme that kicked-off today, for what appears to be a technical reason.

Disappointed at the development, they wrote to the Maharashtra government to include them in the national vaccination programme so people wanting to get themselves vaccinated at these private hospitals could do so.

The hospitals unable to participate in the second stage of vaccination included, Breach Candy Hospital, Bombay Hospital, PD Hinduja Hospital, Jaslok, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Nanavati Hospital and Hiranandani, among others. And the development comes at a time when the city and State are seeing a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

In a letter to the Maharashtra government, the Association of Hospitals (AoH) pointed out that many of them were dedicated Covid centres, but were not able to participate in the expanded vaccination programme as they did not fall under the criteria outlined for empanelled hospitals under a government insurance scheme. The letter pointed out that the Trust hospitals who have been treating “charity patients” under the High Court scheme had not been included either. AoH is a forum for not-for-profit hospitals.

Industry-representatives indicate that about 50-odd medical institutions of various sizes could have been left out of this vaccination programme, possibly because the Centre’s roll-out plan looked at those empanelled for CGHS and Ayushman Bharat PMJAY schemes, though state insurance schemes were also to be considered.

Since health is a State subject, the AoH has urged the authorities to step-in and get more hands on deck. “Given the present situation, the need is to vaccinate as many people as possible and as quickly as possible,” Gautam Khanna, President AoH told BusinessLine.

Khanna, who is also Chief Executive of PD Hinduja Hospital added, that his hospital and some others had the protocols and infrastructure in place and their healthworkers too were in the process of getting vaccinated.

The AoH urged the State to allow vaccination at private hospitals that had been converted to Covid dedicated centres under the Disaster Management Act, that were treating Covid-19 patients and that have vaccinating centres already to inoculate their healthcare workers.

Published on March 01, 2021

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