BENGALURU: After the Union Government recently announced that private hospitals should place orders on the government’s CoWIN portal for vaccine supply, the Private Hospitals and Nursing Association (PHANA) says they are still waiting for the State Government’s nod to start with the process.
After the Centre’s announcement, the State Government had asked private hospitals to register on the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) portal. Later, the hospitals were again asked to register on the CoWIN portal, but many did not get their vaccine stocks after placing orders.
Following this, officials from National Health Mission (NHM) Karnataka, had asked PHANA to wait until they conduct an online training on how to go about the process. Surprisingly, the training hasn’t been carried out so far, and many hospitals are still waiting to get the vaccine stocks to take up inoculation.
Prasanna H M, president of PHANA, said, “We have been told that an online training session will be conducted, but we haven’t been told when and how to register and also book slots for the vaccines. Most of the hospitals are waiting. We have no idea if this will be feasible.”
Under the new process, private hospitals will have a slot on the CoWIN portal to register as a private Covid-19 vaccination centre. The approval will be given on the app and payment should be made online, after which order will be processed.
Dr Jagadish Hiremath, Medical Director of Ace Suhas Multispecialty Hospital, said, “We have not received any updates as of now. We registered on the CoWIN app two weeks ago. But till date, we have not received any mails or any kind of response regarding when we can procure vaccines. Unless we get the vaccine stocks, there is little we can do.”
Most of the private mid-sized hospitals pointed out that the earlier procedure of the state procuring vaccines and giving it to the hospitals was easier. However, after the rules changed in April-end, asking hospitals to directly procure from manufacturers, many mid-sized hospitals started to face problems as they could not procure the doses while the bigger corporate hospitals were getting the vaccines.
Now, with orders having to be placed on CoWIN, many are still skeptical if this will work.
“We have been facing an issue since May and we do not have vaccines. Despite repeated attempts at contacting the suppliers, we were still not able to procure it. We reached out to the State Government to get back to the older way of buying the vaccines from it, but the issue wasn’t addressed. Many people are still calling us and asking if our hospital has vaccines, but we have no stocks. Now, with the CoWIN procedure in place, we have no idea how long it is going to take, as many hospitals will register and try ordering for vaccines,” said an official from a private hospital.Another official from a private hospital pointed out that the large and corporate hospitals are still getting vaccine doses from manufacturers easily.