‘It’s a wise decision’: Private hospitals in Delhi hail new policy on vaccine procurement


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Private hospitals in Delhi have welcomed the Centre’s decision that the private medical facilities in the country will no longer be allowed to directly procure Covid-19 vaccines from manufacturers and have to place orders via CoWIN portal from July 1, saying now they will be able to procure doses as per requirement. 

“We are in total agreement with the government. It’s a wise decision. There will be no more forcing… Now we can procure vaccines as per requirement. So far we were getting more than required,” said Dr Satendra Katoch, director (medical) at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The government also imposed a cap, or a “maximum limit”, on the number of doses a private hospital can order for a given month, to balance limited supply and prevent wastage.

“States and UTs will be informed by MoHFW, about the total quantum of doses available for private CVCs in a month for them. They will aggregate the demand from private CVCs, keeping these quantities in mind,” a statement from the Union Health Ministry said.

“We consider this as a positive policy decision as this will lead to an increase in the vaccination rate as the government will have a clear cut record of how many vaccines have been procured by an individual hospital. This will also prevent hoarding of vaccines and lead to improved transparency in terms of inoculation,” said Dr Prashant Kulshrestha, deputy medical superintendent, PSRI Hospital.

There will be no need for approval from the government for the procurement. Successful submission of the procurement orders on the government portal will be sufficient.

“While the new policy is aimed to streamline the procurement process, equal aim needs to be exercised to control rationing of vaccines to keep the private hospitals’ interest intact in the vaccination drive.”

“It’s a known stat, private hospitals, under their functioning of having no area restriction (unlike public hospitals), have been the forerunner in taking country’s vaccination drive in the most innovative ways like doorstep inoculation, drive-through, vaccination in malls, offices, residences, etc, and we definitely support the equitable vaccine distribution.”

“However, the intent and innovative approach to reach out to the maximum in the most comforting ways adapted by private players must be kept in mind, to ensure larger public interest, and in turn, of the private healthcare,” Dr Kousar Shah, COO, Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital, said.

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