Private hospitals likely to get BMC vax shot nod

Days after the Association of Hospital requested the civic body to start vaccination centres at their hospitals to cut downtime consumed by healthcare workers to reach the centres, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is now likely to consider their request of inoculating beneficiaries or HCWs in the second and third phase of vaccination drive at the private hospitals. Following which the civic body has sought a list of HCWs for the second and third phase.

Last week, the Association of Hospitals, a trust of private hospitals submitted a letter to BMC seeking permission to allow them to vaccinate their HCWs in their hospital premises under the supervision of civic officials. In response to that BMC has asked the hospitals to submit the list of their HCWs who have registered on the Co-Win application for references.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said last week they had a meeting with the private hospital association in which they requested setting up vaccine centres at their hospitals to cut down the time taken by the HCWs to reach civic-run vaccine centres.

“We are collecting data of HCWs from private hospitals. Following which, the decision will be taken about the proposal submitted by the private hospitals,” he said.

Kakani also said that most likely, the corporation will allow the private hospitals to vaccinate frontline and senior citizens in the second and third phase of the immunization programme.

“Though we are yet to make a final decision... We are still contemplating it as it will help to bring the vaccine centres closure to the beneficiaries. But we also have dispensaries and clinics which can also prove beneficial for the public in the following vaccination phases,” said Kakani.

Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician at the Bombay Hospital said the low turnout of HCWs at the centres were due to the distance of vaccine centres and hospitals were long so many avoid going to the centres. Following which, they all demand for the decentralisation of vaccination centres.

“At present in Mumbai, there are only ten vaccination centres which are slowing down the mass immunization programme. Each major hospital has over 2,000 HCWs. If the BMC permits us to inoculate them in our hospital premises then it will help to save the time of their travel with the better turnout,” he said.

In a meeting held on January 21, they also assured that staffers with experience in immunisation will administer the vaccines under the supervision of a government or civic officer in their hospitals.

“The hospitals will submit the duly signed forms of each recipient of the vaccine to the authority at the end of each day. This way government/BMC authorities can be relieved of the considerable burden and constraints it is facing now,” Dr Sujit Chatterjee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.

Dr Bhansali said that once the BMC permits them, the civic body will formulate the rules for vaccination in private hospitals. “As per the initial conversation, the civic body will allow only the hospitals which will fulfil the parameters laid by the BMC just like Covid-19 testing,” he said.

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