PANJIM: With State moving at a snail pace to achieve its vaccination target, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa branch, has urged government to involve private healthcare units, in a large scale, to rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive as the same would help faster vaccination coverage and streamline effective delivery of the vaccine.
IMA Goa President Dr Vinayak Buvaji, in a letter to State authorities, has requested the government to authorise the local medical association to approve the beneficiary and direct them for administration of vaccine at nearest COVID vaccination booth with authenticated ID proof.
He opined that the hospitals empanelled under Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana (DDSSY) can be taken on board for immunisation programme.
Stating that the current COVID vaccine booths set up in private sector have appointed dedicated manpower for the delivery of the vaccine, Buvaji said that the same are underutilised due to lack of powers to approve the beneficiaries.
“The hospitals in private sector approved under DDSSY scheme can be taken on board. This will definitely result in decreased work load on government machinery which would result in better and expatiated delivery of vaccine at present to the health care workers and also general public in the future,” the President said.
Buvaji said that the current model for detection of COVID-19 by approving Private Diagnostic laboratories can be duplicated by approving DDSSY registered private hospitals as it will ensure optimum utilisation of manpower and infrastructure in private hospitals.
“This optional delivery mechanism will decrease the load on government sector and ensure fast roll out of vaccine. In case there is fee structure in near future, the private sector prices can be capped by the competent authority with a transparent approach,” he said.
Of the total 19,000 odd healthcare workers who are registered on the vaccination portal, only 11,500 are administered with vaccine so far. On the other hand, the turnout rate is even lower in the case of frontline workers, as only 5100 have got themselves vaccinated till date in the second round.
Further, Buvaji also said that the present approach of mandatory pre-registration of healthcare workers on the central government-controlled Cowin platform has its limitations.
"It is observed that not all healthcare professionals and ancillary frontline workers are registered due to multiple practical reasons, resulting in denial in uploading the beneficiaries name on the Cowin portal. There have been numerous instances wherein healthcare workers have submitted data through appropriate channels, but haven't been enlisted as beneficiaries," he pointed out
Buvaji has also requested the state government to allow for "on the spot entry" at vaccination booths for health workers, with authorised identification and certification from registered healthcare institutions.