Updated: May 28, 2021 10:36:59 pm
Getting Covid-19 vaccine shots just got costlier in Karnataka as the state government revised the service charges allowed to be charged by private medical establishments from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per dose.
“Considering many requests received, the state government has decided to cap service charges of vaccine administration by private hospitals at Rs 200 per dose. All hospitals hereby are directed to strictly abide by the guidelines and help in easing the vaccination process,” Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan said.
Later, a government order specifying that the charges apply to each dose of all available Covid vaccines was also issued.
Earlier this week, the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association wants the service charge to be increased from Rs 100 to Rs 300, citing “huge expenses” required towards investing for cold chain, storage and logistical needs among others.
Doctors from private hospitals had stated that direct procurement of vaccines from manufacturers itself costs nearly four to eight times more than what was being paid to the government to get the jabs.
Meanwhile, Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya had written to Ashwathnarayan, who also heads the ministerial taskforce handling Covid-19 in the state, pointing out the difference in pricing of each vaccine dose at different private hospitals in Bengaluru.
“The charges for a Covishield dose charged by hospitals vary from Rs 850 to Rs 1,250. Though there is an advisory issued on May 4 directing private hospitals to levy a service fee not exceeding Rs 100, this directive has not been enforced and not many hospitals are aware of it,” he wrote, urging the government to bring in pricing uniformity.
To date, Karnataka has vaccinated over 1.27 crore people across age groups and priority groups. While over 1 crore doses of these were administered as first doses, over 26.65 lakh were second doses.
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