Mumbai: Giving a fillip to the state’s vaccination drive, the Central Government on Saturday approved 67 more private hospitals across Maharashtra, 13 of them in Mumbai, to participate in the process. According to BMC The 13 private hospitals in the city fulfil all the criteria prescribed by the Government of India (GoI) to be designated as Covid vaccination centres (CVC) said BMC officials.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, with healthcare workers getting the first shot at inoculation while for other frontline workers, the process began on February 2, in the second phase. On March 1, the third phase was rolled out for those above 60 years of age and those 45-plus years of age and above with specific comorbidities.
“After considering the private health facilities previously approved by MoHFW, the hospitals empanelled under AB-PMJAY, CGHS schemes and the fulfilment of four critical criteria before designating a private health facility as CVC, it is for information that out of 225 health facilities, a total of 67 private health facilities having 100 or more beds and not empanelled under AB-PMJAY or CGHS can be considered to be designated as CVC after due assessment by the State,” read the official statement from the Union health ministry.
As of March 13, 2021, there are a total of 77 CVCs that are operational, including 46 private hospitals designated as CVCs in Mumbai, 24 BMC-run CVCs and seven state and Central Government-run facilities. With 13 additional private hospitals / CVCs approved in by the centre, the total number of CVCs carrying out vaccinations across the city will jump to 90.
“While Mumbai’s daily vaccination turnout has been rising steadily, it needs to increase manifold. The recent approval will help us ramp up the vaccination drive across the city. We have also applied for 29 more private hospitals to be approved as CVCs in Mumbai. We are anticipating the approval soon,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Suresh Kakani.
The BMC had requested the Central Government to make the necessary changes to its vaccination registration website CoWin, to facilitate 24x7 registration in the city. The Centre, a few days ago, had allowed 24-hour vaccination across the country. Accordingly, the BMC permitted round-the-clock vaccination at private centres under its jurisdiction from March 10. With this, one lakh people will be vaccinated every day in Mumbai, given that with the current timing of 8-12 hours, around 35,000-40,000 people are being vaccinated daily.
The government is vaccinating people free of cost at government hospitals, while people are required to pay for Covid shots at private hospitals. However, the government has maintained that private hospitals can only charge up to Rs 250 – Rs 150 per dose and Rs 100 as service charge – and this arrangement will remain effective till further orders.