Cong slams Centre for allowing 'sale' of Covid vaccine by pvt hospitals

Mumbai, Mar 2 (IANS): Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the Centre's move to allow private hospital charge people Rs.250/ for the Covid-19 vaccine dosage, the Phase-2 of which was launched nationwide on March 1.

A person aged above 45 with co-morbidities or over 60-years old can get inoculated at a designated private centre for Rs.250 per dose in the second phase.

Taking umbrage at this, Chavan said that in the Phase-1, the Centre had procured 1.65 crore doses of the vaccine at a cost of Rs.210/dose.

"As per the Feb. 1 Budget speech of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rs. 35,000-crore has been allocated for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs.210/dose, more than 1.50 billion doses can be procured," Chavan said.

These 1.60 billion doses can help inoculate 75 crore of the Indians, covering almost the entire adult population of the country, and hence if budgetary provisions are made, then why the charges (Rs.250) are being levied (in private hospitals), Chavan asked.

He pointed out that in countries like USA, UK or Canada, citizens are getting free vaccines either by budgetary provisions or through insurance companies.

"I demand that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free Covid-19 vaccines," Chavan said.

Taking a jibe at the government, the former union minister and state Chief Minister said that "despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Modi Government is digging into the common man's pocket" with the vaccine charges.

In a related development, the Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) has urged the Centre and Maharashtra government to declare the hospitality sector workers as 'frontline warriors' for priority vaccination, said its Vice-President G. S. Kohli.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra witnessed huge crowds for the Phase-2 Vaccination drive at all designated hospitals/centres in the state with senior citizens turning up in large numbers to get inoculated.



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Comment on this article

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Tue, Mar 02 2021

    It is not the cost that matters, it is the principle. It is understood that government alone can not inject the vaccine to130 crore people. Let them give the vaccine free of cost to private hospitals and let the private hospitals decide their service charges.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 02 2021

    This lost party is unnecessarily making a mountain of a mole hill - i am sure people will be happy to pay 250/- for a jab in a Pvt hospital. Congress pls focus on more important issues.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ethnic Orchid, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 02 2021

    This 'slam' is not justified. You cannot keep whining all the while. Lets be frank. Nothing wrong. If you want the vaccine early and do not want to wait for your turn , then sorry you have to pay. Or else just wait . The logic is simple . There are many in Mangalore including myself who would prefer paying Rs 250/- for a jab in the comfort and convenience of a Pvt Clinic rather than going to Wenlock Hospital , and go thru their long process that may take days. Infact I have seen people even middle and lower middle class pay Rs1500/- for a Covid test in a Pvt Hospital instead paying Rs 10 at getting it done from Wenlock.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

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