Reconsider decision to allow pvt hospitals charge Rs 250 per COVID-19 vaccine: Siddaramaiah
Bengaluru, Mar 05: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision to allow private hospitals to charge Rs 250 for administering coronavirus vaccine, saying it will act as a deterrent in the fight against the pandemic. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Congress stalwart batted for free vaccination.
"The decision of the Central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread (of coronavirus)," Siddaramaiah wrote in his letter. "I strongly urge the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated for COVID-19 at zero cost," he added.
The former Chief Minister said the vaccination drive is slow as only 0.5 per cent people have been vaccinated in India so far whereas other countries have been making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people. According to him, Israel has vaccinated 36 per cent of the population, the USA six per cent, and the UK four per cent. Siddaramaiah underlined that India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population.
"Many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have made COVID vaccines available free of cost and it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone," Siddaramaiah said in his letter.
Backing the decision to collaborate with private institutions in the vaccination drive, he advised that both the central and state governments should take the burden to reimburse. Speaking about the PM CARES fund, Siddaramaiah said one of the narratives built during the collection of funds through PM CARES was that funds should be used to vaccinate everyone free of cost. "The office of Prime Minister has failed to release the accounts of the PM CARES fund and failed to provide vaccination at zero cost as well," Siddaramaiah charged.