Rope in private sector for faster, efficient vaccination coverage: Goa IMA

Panaji, Feb 23 (IANS): The Goa chapter of the Indian Medical Association has sought a bigger role for private healthcare operations in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination drive, saying the involvement of the private sector would help faster vaccination coverage and streamline effective delivery of the vaccine.

"We request 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," Dr. Vinayak Buvaji, president of IMA-Goa, told reporters on Tuesday, saying the manpower in designated private hospitals dedicated for the vaccination programme are underutilised.

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," the IMA-Goa president said.

"This approach Awill lead to using the set up to maximum potential and minimise the wastage of vaccine," Dr. Buvaji said.

There are around 18,000 odd healthcare workers who are registered on the vaccination portal, out of which around 10,000 have been vaccinated. The turnout rate is even lower in the case of frontline workers who are eligible for vaccination. The response to the second round of vaccination has also been poor, according to Health Ministry officials.

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.

"Offline entry can be uploaded later on the portal for data collection on an everyday basis," he said.



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