As per the Centre’s letter to states and UTs, private hospitals will recover Rs 150 per person per dose as cost of vaccine and vaccination centres can charge up to Rs 100 per dose per person to account for logistics, storage and vaccinators, official sources told TOI.
“This arrangement will remain effective till further orders,” an official said.
States can use hospitals empanelled in their healthcare plans apart from those under Ayushman Bharat and CGHS.
The final price is better than what was paid by the government for the first round. The Centre had paid Rs 200 per dose for Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and around Rs 295 per dose for Covaxin by Bharat Biotech.
At government sites, vaccination would be free of cost. The next phase of vaccination, scheduled to be rolled out from Monday, would cover an estimated 27 crore people in the country though the initial group is about 10 crore people.
“States will receive the vaccine doses from the Centre and give them to private hospitals. They would have to pay the government Rs 150 per dose upfront,” Maharashtra health secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said, adding that the private hospitals would have to deposit the amount in the bank account created by the National Health Authority.
With the government keen to speed up the vaccination process for the third phase, the involvement of the private health sector would play a key role in it. For this, adequate training would be imparted to private sector healthcare workers.
Ayushman Bharat, Maharashtra, CEO Sudhakar Shinde said private hospitals empanelled under the state government’s Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana would be able to start vaccination from the coming week.
Initially, only Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, will be supplied to private hospitals primarily because of its large-scale availability as compared to Covaxin, a source said.
It took several rounds of negotiations between the government, vaccine manufacturers and private hospitals to arrive at the final price for vaccination at private facilities.
Around 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat, more than 600 hospitals under the Central Government Health Scheme and other private hospitals empanelled under state governments’ health insurance schemes can participate as vaccination centres.
Vaccines will be administered free of cost at more than 10,000 government hospitals, including health facilities of public sector units.
The government aims to hold up to 50,000 daily sessions of vaccination as it aims to cover 30 crore “priority” population, including health and frontline workers who were targeted in the first phase, 27 crore people based on age-appropriateness and associated disease burden that can increase the risk of death from Covid-19.
Private facilities will be mapped with the nearest cold-chain points to ensure a seamless flow of vaccines.
Meanwhile, the health ministry also identified 20 underlying conditions that will qualify people in the 45–59 age group for inoculation. As per the list, those hospitalised with heart failure in past one year, those having diabetes for over 10 years or with complications, people diagnosed with solid cancer since July last year, lymphoma, blood cancer or myeloma, those with HIV and acid attack survivors with involvement of the respiratory system will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
Apart from this, various heart diseases, transplant patients and people with severe disabilities have also been included in the list of co-morbidities.
A one-page certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner will have to be uploaded on Co-Win by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried while visiting the vaccination centre.
The details of the exercise were shared by health secretary Rajesh Bhushan with state health secretaries and state mission directors of the National Health Mission on Saturday.
The officials discussed how private hospitals will be provided usernames and passwords to facilitate the effective use of Co-Win 2.0, the upgraded version of the Centre’s digital platform to manage the vaccination programme.