The Private Hospitals and Nursing Association (PHANA) in Karnataka has written to state Health Minister K Sudhakar, stating that there are no vaccines in most private hospitals in the state. It also alleges that small and medium private hospitals are not getting vaccines from manufacturers. In a letter to the Karnataka Health Minister, PHANA has alleged that the large chain corporate hospitals have taken the “lion’s share” of the state’s quota of vaccines, depriving small and medium size hospitals. The association has said that there are “zero stocks of vaccines in the majority of hospitals.”
“The small and medium private hospitals are NOT getting the vaccine from the manufacturers,” PHANA has said. “Small and medium-size hospitals across the state are feeling the need for intervention from the government. This sector is nearly 60-70% of the state’s healthcare and the present policy of vaccine procurement is keeping this segment at a disadvantage. This is NOT good for public health,” PHANA said in the letter.
PHANA has asked the government that vaccines be made available at the earliest in hospitals which shouldered COVID-19 management to a large extent, and look after a large section of the population. The availability of the vaccine in the places where people normally go for their health care will help in overcoming vaccine hesitancy, PHANA has said.
“The goal should be to put in systems which can deliver the dose within the shortest possible time after procurement, maybe within 3 days,” the association has recommended.
It has also asked the Karnataka government to appoint a nodal officer to help private hospitals buy vaccines from the suppliers. The association has further asked that the existing allotment of the state’s quota of vaccines to private hospitals be redistributed, and the usage of government stocks through private vaccination centres be planned like it was in the previous phases.
According to the bulletin issued by the Karnataka Health Department on June 7, a total of 1,53,34,586 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state so far. There are currently 4,820 centres where people can get vaccinated. Out of these, 4,607 are government and 213 are private.