The Sindh government has decided to engage private hospitals and laboratories in Covid-19 mass vaccination programme and encourage the private health sector to import coronavirus vaccine, allocate human resources and establish vaccination centres, specially in Karachi.
The decisions were taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah at the CM House on Tuesday, which was attended by provincial ministers, adviser law, chief secretary and relevant secretaries.
So far, nearly 262,000 coronavirus cases emerged in the province. The contagion also claimed 4,468 lives while 253,041 patients recovered from the disease.
The health department apprised the cabinet that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the provincial response to combat coronavirus was characterised by mixed public and private delivery of care.
“The private health sector played a key role in providing essential health services, specially when the public sector was so overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients catered the need to test patients for the virus as well as the isolation and treatment of patients who required hospitalisation and critical care.”
On the receipt of the first consignment of Sinopharm vaccine, the provincial government started its vaccination drive to inoculate frontline healthcare workers against Covid-19 in the first phase.
Recently, the vaccination of citizens over 60 years of age has been started and in the next phase, mass vaccination of all ages above 18 will be initiated.
“This will require involvement of the private healthcare sector to shoulder the efforts of the health department to vaccinate every eligible resident of the province.”
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the government must seek the commitment, capability and the capacity of private sector to import Covid-19 vaccine to “fulfil this national duty in the most effective and efficient manner, for the relief of citizens and in a bid to help the country to return to normalcy”.
The cabinet allowed the health department to engage private hospitals and laboratories in Covid-19 mass vaccination and encourage the private health sector to import vaccines.
CM Murad also directed the health department to formulate SOPs for the purpose along with registration mechanism under the Sindh Health Care Commission so that everything, including price of the vaccine should remain under control.