Private hospitals can't charge more than ₹250 per person per dose of the covid-19 vaccine

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Empty ampules of the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine are seen on a tray at the Dhaka Medical College vaccination centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 9, 2021. REUTERS (REUTERS)Empty ampules of the Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine are seen on a tray at the Dhaka Medical College vaccination centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 9, 2021. REUTERS (REUTERS) 4 min read . Updated: 27 Feb 2021, 08:15 PM IST Neetu Chandra Sharma

The nationwide covid-19 vaccination program is being expanded to all citizens above 60 years of age and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities from Monday

New Delhi: As the nationwide covid-19 vaccination program is being expanded to all citizens above 60 years of age and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities from Monday, around 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), 687 hospitals under central government health scheme (CGHS) and other private hospitals empanelled under State government’s Health Insurance Schemes will be participating as COVID Vaccination Centers (CVCs).

Putting a ceiling on the charge for vaccination in private hospitals, the government said that the private hospitals functioning as CVCs can charge subject to a ceiling of Rs. 250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism in this regard.

Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary on Saturday convened a meeting with Health Secretaries and MDs (NHM) of States and UTs on the vaccination of age-appropriate groups through a video conference (VC).

“States were explained the three methods of registration i.e. Advance Self Registration, Onsite Registration and Facilitated Cohort Registration. User Names and Passwords to be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of CoWIN 2.0, were also discussed during the meeting. In addition, mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure seamless flow of vaccines to them was explained to the States," the union health ministry said in a statement.

The simplified system of certifying people with 20 co-morbidities within the 45-59 years age group was also explained to the States. The simplified one-page certificate to be signed by any registered medical practitioner is at annexure-1. The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN2.0 by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the CVC.

The centre said that all the private health facilities which will serve as Government COVID Vaccination Centers must follow strict norms of due process, quality and safety including integration with the National Co-Win technology platform. All private health facilities must also have adequate space, adequate cold chain arrangements, adequate number of vaccinators and support staff and adequate arrangements for addressing Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI).

The centre said that the Health Departments of State Governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in this drive as CVCs. To ramp up the covid-19 vaccination capacity manifold, the government is involving significantly large number of private facilities.

In addition, there would be government health facilities which will be used as CVCs such as medical college hospitals, district hospitals, sub divisional hospitals, Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs), Health Sub Centers and Health and Wellness Centers. Geo reference maps with GPS coordinates of all these health facilities have been prepared that will serve as CVCs and these Geo referenced maps are being shared with the States. States can also use Health Facilities of all Public Sector Units (PSUs) and all Government Health Facilities as CVCs.

The nationwide covid-19 Vaccination drive was launched on 16thJanuary, 2021. From this date onwards, Health Care Workers (HCWs) were given the first dose of the COVID vaccine while Front Line Workers (FLWs) were included from 2nd February, 2021. So far, more than 1.5 core vaccinations have been done.

The burden of covid-19 continues to increase in India with 16,488 new cases registered in the last 24 hours. 85.75% of the new cases are from 6 States and UTs. Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat- have shown a surge in new cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333. It is followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 622 new cases. India’s total Active Caseload has reached 1,59,590 on Saturday which is 1.44% of India’s total Positive Cases. 113 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

Six States/UTs account for 82.3% of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (48). Punjab follows with 15 daily deaths and Kerala reported 14 deaths in the last 24 hours, the union health ministry data showed.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday chaired a high-level review meeting today with the States/UTs exhibiting a surge in cases including Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Punjab, J&K and West Bengal. The total tally of covid-19 cases on Saturday touched 1,10,80, 956 and the toll mounted to 156,986.

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