The union health ministry on Saturday said that private hospitals across the country received 12 million doses of vaccines against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in May, clarifying that this included hospitals in tier II and tier III cities. This comes in response to a news report that said 50% of the total doses allocated to the private sector went to nine private hospital chains.
“A large number of private hospitals that have contracted with Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have been supplied with Covishield and Covaxin doses. These private hospitals are not limited to the bigger metroes, but also from Tier II & III cities across states,” the release from the health ministry said.
The ministry added that the doses were supplied to hospitals in Guntur, Nellore, Srikalahasthi, Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh; Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh; Dibrugarh in Assam; Sambhalpur in Odisha; Ankleshwar, Kutch, Morbi, Vapi and Surat in Gujarat; Bokaro, Jamshedpur, Palghar in Jharkhand; Jammu, Srinagar in J&K, Bellary, Davangere, Mangalore, Mysuru, and Shimoga in Karnataka; Ahmednagar, Akola, Aurangabad, Baramati, Kalher, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Jalgaon Nashik in Maharashtra among others.
The states with fewer private hospitals have been asked to list out the ones that have been performing better under the government’s Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme and other state insurance schemes keeping geographical spread in mind. The government is encouraging these hospitals to get into contract with the vaccine manufacturers.
“This mechanism facilitates better access and reduces the operational stress on Government Vaccination facilities in terms of those who could afford to pay and would prefer to go to a private hospital,” the release said.
The government has reserved 25% of the vaccine doses manufactured for the private hospitals under the new liberalised vaccination policy adopted May 1 onwards.