Several state governments have requested the Centre to reduce or scrap vaccine quota of 25 per cent given to private hospitals. Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, as well as certain north-eastern states have requested the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to reduce the vaccine quota earmarked for private hospitals in their states as the bulk of the inoculations are being administered through government run healthcare facilities. Several states have seen low levels of private sector inoculations since the beginning of the public immunisation drive.
As per the vaccine coverage policy that came into effect on June 21, the Health Ministry allocated 75 per cent of vaccine doses for government healthcare facilities and 25 per cent for private hospitals. However, these states have said that according to data only 2-5 per cent of the inoculations are being done through private facilities, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
Rajasthan's medical health and family welfare minister Siddharth Mahajan told the daily that private hospitals are barely doing 2 per cent of the inoculations while they have been earmarked 25 per cent of the vaccine doses. He argued that this 25 per cent quota cannot be implemented uniformly in all states. The Rajasthan government has said that each state's share of vaccine doses should come directly to the state, instead of a relatively large percentage being allocated to private hospitals.
Odisha has asked the Centre to reduce the earmarked quota for private hospitals to 5 per cent, and Chhattisgarh has requested it to be reduced to 10 per cent. Since vaccines are free at government hospitals, small private hospitals in Kerala have reported a sizeable loss of the private sector allocation.
Meanwhile, some states report states such as Maharashtra and Delhi have report up to 50 per cent of inoculations through private healthcare facilities.
Edited by Pronoy Basu
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