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‘Vaccine procurement distracting private hospitals from patient care’

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on May 06, 2021

It’s impossible for small hospitals to negotiate for vaccines, the AOH said

Vaccine purchase chore a distracts hospitals from patient care duties, feels Association of Hospitals, a healthcare chain

Even as vaccination for all is underway in parts of the country, private hospitals are facing the added burden of negotiating with vaccine manufacturers..

The current vaccine procurement policy adopted by the government for private hospitals is detracting them from their core role of patient care, felt the the managing committee of Association of Hospitals (AOH) at its meeting last week.

Having 53 Trust-run hospitals from Mumbai and Pune under its fold, AoH was formed in 1985 as a Society. Gautam Khanna, President, Association of Hospitals and CEO, PD Hinduja Hospital informed that the community living around each hospital expects the hospitals to be a primary point of vaccine administration.

“The change in the vaccine purchase policy, asking all organisations including hospitals to directly buy from the vaccine makers is affecting vaccine supply and putting many thousands of patients at risk,” he said.

‘Being crowded out’

Khanna pointed out that first, it is almost impossible for any small or medium sized hospital to connect with, negotiate quantities and deliveries of vaccines for their patients. They neither have the expertise nor the clout particularly in the light of huge demand from central and State governments.

“If Covid has to be beaten, all agencies, especially healthcare delivery institutions like hospitals must be provided vaccines on priority through the State governments, as it was being done earlier,” Khanna said.

Government set price

AOH has also expressed its readiness if the government fixes the prices for them as they consider vaccination a national health emergency and not a profit making stream. “If private hospitals are not given a priority in delivery of vaccines, I am afraid full vaccination will not happen for many months compounding the Covid problem manifold,” added Khanna. In light of the current shortage in the country, Government should also allow import of vaccines by hospitals from across the world.

Published on May 06, 2021

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