Mumbai: 29 private hospitals which are not enrolled for any government health scheme have been allowed by the Centre on Tuesday to join the Covid-19 vaccination drive and accelerate vaccine administration. The decision from Centre came late on Tuesday after an online meeting with BMC.
The vaccine in these hospitals will begin administration in the next couple of days, allowing the state to issue an order and mobilising of vaccine stocks and staff, said civic officials.
The president of Associations of Hospitals (AOH), Gautam Khanna said, “Most of us were already vaccinating our health staffers, so some centres will be ready before the rest. However, we may not be able to take walk-in registrations immediately.”
The move buoyed the BMC that faced heat on Monday for overcrowding at centres. The enthusiastic response from the elderly saw Mumbai’s turnout jump by over 240%— from 1,982 on Monday to 6,853 on Tuesday. Across the state, senior citizens led the charge, accounting for 12,300 of the 16,111 vaccinated—a 130% rise over the previous day.
22 civic vaccination centres are already active. Since the hospitals empanelled under the CGHS, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana were only 55 and with no infrastructure or manpower, civic authorities took the decision to enrol these major hospitals.
Dr Gautam Bhansali, who coordinates between public and private hospitals, said most private hospitals should be able to start by Thursday. “Some hospitals are yet to be inspected by BMC. All these should happen in the next few days,” he said. The hospitals were not able to vaccinate even their own staffers since Saturday since Co-WIN was updated.
Dr Santosh Shetty, CEO of Kokilaben Ambani Hospital in Andheri, which is among the 29 private hospitals that have got permission to vaccinate senior citizens, said: “More the number of hospitals, more people can get vaccinated. People want to get the vaccine at a hospital they are comfortable with and closer to their home,” he added.