Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Private healthcare associations to submit recommendations to Govt on executing Phase 3 of National Vaccination Strategy – Express Healthcare

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Request govt to ensure consistency in vaccine administration guidelines across states through standard operating guidelines for engagement with the private sector

In a crucial meeting today, healthcare and industry federations representing the ecosystem of the private sector reportedly deliberated on a set of immediate recommendations for submission to the Government for effectively executing the liberalised and accelerated Phase 3 National Vaccination Strategy from May 1, 2021.

Senior healthcare leaders from private sector spanning all major healthcare federations – CII, FICCI, AHPI, IMA, PHD Chamber of Commerce, ASSOCHAM, Indian Chamber of Commerce, AMC, ANEI, AHEI, FHA Karnataka and NATHEALTH – participated in the meeting

As per a release circulated by NATHEALTH, these recommendations are aligned with the main elements of the Phase 3 strategy –procurement and administration of vaccines being made flexible – all stakeholders being given the freedom to customise to local needs and dynamics; incentivising manufacturers to scale-up production and invite new national and international players; and manufacturers empowered to release vaccines in the open market at a pre-declared price and states authorised to purchase from private players.

Some of the key recommendations made at this meeting:

  • Lauding the Government for the Phase 3 National Vaccination Strategy, as it can enable the industry to come together, the federations recommend that the private sector in India will pool their demand for effective flexible procurement to ensure high quality and uninterrupted access of lifesaving vaccines. Private sector can assess emerging requirements from healthcare, telecom, retail, information technology, consumer, and other industry segments through rapid assessment. Private Sector will also explore PPP’s to share the national responsibility with central and state governments.
  • Private sector will work collaboratively to tide over supply side challenges and join hands with Government to scale up last mile delivery of vaccines, pandemic surveillance and hospitalisation care.
  • The private sector will prioritise the rapid clinical trials for other critical, life-saving drugs, inhalers and therapies which are showing promising results for use in the treatment of COVID-19, apart from vaccines.
  • As an immediate short-term measure, as the private healthcare sector reorganises its supply chains, there is an urgent need for Central and State governments to ensure continuity of supplies for the next 30-60 days, especially for existing eligible population and those eligible for second vaccination. The Government is also requested to ensure that there is consistency in vaccine administration guidelines across states through standard operating guidelines for engagement with the private sector. In this process, industry will be ready to engage immediately in right earnest.

Dr Harsh Mahajan, President, NATHEALTH, commented, “As the country is grappling with a sudden surge of COVID cases and different parts of the country facing various challenges related to healthcare infrastructure, ramping up vaccination drive by involving Indian and global organisations will prove to be beneficial in the longer run and will reduce the burden on the healthcare ecosystem that India is facing amidst these tough times. Cross-country collaborations between federations and Government will enable India to deal with the current challenges and help in building a robust healthcare ecosystem. The industry welcomes the liberalised Phase 3 National Vaccination Strategy of the Government as it provides flexibility and an opportunity for State Governments, private sector organisations, hospitals and other sectors to purchase it from the open market and ramp up vaccine administration. It will also enable private providers to involve their logistics network and supply chains to speed up transport channels and improve access in the remotest parts of India. We can utilise the infrastructure built by private sector in the first wave of the pandemic.”

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