Rise In Price Of Anti-Rabies Vaccine By Centre Irks Mamata

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Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre for the rise in the price of anti-rabies vaccine, making it scarce for the common man.

“Anti-rabies vaccines are not available in designated shops as the Centre has increased tax leading to its price escalation,” Mamata said after reviewing the state’s health situation at a meeting. The Medical Council of India has been asked to look into the issue, she told reporters. Mamata held a state-level meeting with senior officials of the health department and hospitals from across Bengal in Nabanna Sabhaghar on Tuesday.

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Following the discussion with the officials, she expressed her concern over the treatment of patients due to insufficient supply of anti-rabies vaccine. Stating that no one is ready to sell the vaccine as the cost has gone up, the Chief Minister said: “The increase in the tax is the sole reason behind unavailability of the same in the market.”

“One will die if he doesn’t get proper treatment and I have directed to take up the matter with the Centre,” she said after the meeting that continued for around two-and-a-half hours that was attended by superintendents of all the medical colleges and heads of all departments.

She further added that Bengal is the only state where free-of-cost treatment is provided to common people. Appreciating the work of the state Health department, she said: “The rate of institutional delivery in 2011 was 65 percent and now it has gone up to 95 percent and this is a big achievement of the state Health department. Infant mortality rate, malnutrition has also gone down and 27,000 beds have been added in hospitals.”

She further maintained that direction has been given to doctors, medical superintendents and other concerned officials to work with proper co-ordination. In the same breath she said that there are several technical issues and while discussions are on along the same, directions have been given to ensure that medicines do not get expired.

Mamata on May 7 had written to the Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar alleging “irregularities” in the conduct of the national medical entrance examination NEET in the state and said the ministry could consider re-examination at some of the affected centres.

Moreover, there were 1,900 equipment lying unused and 1,700 have been opened. She also stressed upon the need of more research work to combat the situation when certain diseases spread. Citing an example, she said: “Diseases might get transmitted when people travel in flights and there could be no treatment for such diseases. So research work has to be carried out to find out a solution.” Appreciating the role doctors in providing treatment to crores of patients, she urged them for “service with a smile”.

The Chief Minister further stated that the administration and the police also have to take prompt action in case there is any incident of attack at any hospital or health care centre.

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