THE ODISHA government has urged the Centre to reduce allocation of Covid-19 vaccines to the private sector from the current 25 per cent to 5 per cent.
State Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das raised the issue in a letter to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Saturday. “For the state of Odisha, the government and private vaccine allocation ratio of 75:25 may be revised to 95:5 ratio, keeping in mind the ground reality. Procurement by private hospitals in the state is negligible. Till date, only seven private hospitals in Odisha have been able to procure vaccines from the manufacturers,” Das said in the letter, adding that private hospitals provide services to only 5 per cent of the state’s population.
“As per the existing guideline, the state will lose out its proportionate share of 25 per cent allocation of vaccines to the private sector,” he said, adding that the vaccination drive will be “severely affected” if the guidelines are not changed.
“Since June 21, 2021, we are able to vaccinate more than 3 lakh beneficiaries per day and will continue our endeavour to achieve 100 per cent vaccination in the state,” he said in the letter.
Odisha’s Additional Chief Secretary, Health, P K Mohapatra, had raised a similar demand in a letter to Union Health Secretary on June 14.
As per the revised Central guidelines that came into effect from June 21, the Centre will directly procure 75 per cent of the doses manufactured by vaccine companies, and distribute this to the states free of cost. While private hospitals will have exclusive access to the remaining 25 per cent, the states will aggregate the demand of private hospitals, keeping in view equitable distribution between large and small private hospitals and regional balance.
Based on this aggregated demand, the Centre will facilitate supply of vaccines to the private hospitals and their payment through the National Health Authority’s electronic platform.
On Friday, the Odisha government decided to stop supply of vaccines to private hospitals.