Chavan questions Covid vaccine rates at pvt hospitals

Former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan questions Covid-19 vaccine rates at private hospitals

If budgetary provisions are made then, why charge common people, asked former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Credit: Facebook/prithvrj

The Congress has questioned the Narendra Modi government's decision to allow private hospitals to charge for the Covid-19 vaccine in Phase II that began on 1 March.

In Phase II, a person over the age of 45 with co-morbidity or over the age of 60 can get inoculated at a designated center. The price of every dose is kept at Rs.250 in private hospitals.

Senior Congressman and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that in Phase I, the Union government had procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccine at a cost of Rs.210 per dose. 

Read: Covid-19 vaccine may cost up to Rs 250 per dose in private hospitals

"According to the budget speech delivered by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 February, Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs. 210 per dose, more than 1.5 billion doses can be procured. These can inoculate 75 crore population twice, covering almost the entire adult population of India. If budgetary provisions are made then, why charge common people?" he asked. 

Chavan said large countries like the USA, UK or Canada are providing free vaccines to their citizens either through insurance schemes or by budgetary provisions.

Chavan, a former Minister of State in the PMO, said all beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogy Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free Covid-19 vaccine.

“Unfortunately, despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplier of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Modi government is digging into the common man’s pocket,” he said.