Apex body representing private healthcare sector NATHEALTH-Healthcare Federation of India has called for scaling up the Covid-19 vaccination drive by including private diagnostics labs and home care providers in the inoculation process.
In a set of recommendations made to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and NITI Aayog on urgent need for such a scale up, NATHEALTH has also called for setting up of vaccination centres in RWAs, malls, schools, airports, and large corporations with space and staff facilities.
The industry body is of the view that these steps will not only accelerate vaccination numbers at the community level but will also play a pivotal role to stem rising cases of COVID-19 in India, effectively scaling up numbers and expanding coverage in a short span of time.
"In order to win the battle against COVID, India’s strategy must continuously evolve in the fields of vaccination, diagnostics, contact tracing, tracking, sero-surveillance, data analysis, and communication advocacy to overcome the challenges in a dynamic COVID environment," said Dr. Harsh Mahajan President, NATHEALTH and Founder and Chief Radiologist, Mahajan Imaging.
According to Mahajan, India has 2000 labs for COVID testing now and keeping in mind the unprecedented second wave of the pandemic, we must focus on increasing the coverage of the vaccination drive and continue large scale testing in the states which are reporting high numbers of cases. "We can utilize the infrastructure built by private diagnostics labs in the 1st wave of the pandemic," he added.
By involving private diagnostic labs, NATHEALTH has suggested that the move could increase coverage and ensure quick access to vaccination for the general public, especially those in the high-risk category.
Among its other recommendations include roping in phlebotomists at accredited laboratory chains that are well-trained to proficiently inoculate the population with utmost compliance under the supervision of MBBS doctors.
Meanwhile, the industry body has recommended involving more private home healthcare industry players in order to reduce the cost of care for patients and the burden on the stretched hospitals system. "Home healthcare industry has a huge potential in preventing the spread of the COVID infection in current times of surge," it further stated.