To ramp up the vaccination drive, public representatives have urged the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to appoint private healthcare organisations that would act as facilitators in the process. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator from C ward Rita Makwana has written to Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of public health, seeking permission for a private body to carry out the vaccination drive fluently at the ward level.
“Vaccination centers have been regularly crowded. Many senior citizens are having problems in getting themselves registered as well. If we appoint private companies, then more booths could be set up at the ward level and door-to-door vaccination drives could also be arranged,” Makwana said.
“We have proposed the idea of working as facilitators with the BMC. If the civic body allows us, then we can procure vaccines from them and carry out the drive at housing societies. This will not just ease the load off their shoulders, but also save a lot of resources as well,” said Dr Ashish Gurjar of TuliP Healthcare, the firm which was referred by Makwana.
Ravi Raja, leader of opposition in the BMC and senior Congress corporator, has also said that BMC should now start giving vaccines to private hospitals at a nominal rate or free of cost. “If more private hospitals are included and give vaccines for free, then we can vaccinate more people in a short span of time. This will save a lot of money for the BMC,” Raja said.
Meanwhile, Mihir Kotecha, BJP legislator from Mulund, has written to Kakani and demanded that a dedicated vaccination facility, only for senior citizens, should be started at Mulund. “Currently, senior citizens spend an average three hours waiting in long queues at vaccination centers, which is why a dedicated facility is necessary,” said Kotecha. Meanwhile, Kakani told the Free Press Journal on Thursday that facilities could only be augmented after there is adequate supply in the city.