Free medicines: Activists write to Raje over ‘poison’ remark

Raje slammed Congress' failure to implement free medicine scheme due to few doctors and poor infrastructure.

Written by Express News Service | Jaipur | Published: October 16, 2013 12:50 am

Reacting sharply to former CM Vasundhara Raje’s comment on the free medicine scheme 127 prominent activists,including former National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy,have written an open letter to Raje asking her to apologise.

In her election rallies,Raje has been slamming the Congress government’s failure to implement the free medicine scheme due to dearth of doctors and poor infrastructure. On October 10 at a seminar organised by the party’s medical cell in the state capital on the “Role of Medical Professionals in Indian Politics,” she went a step ahead to call the free medicines “poison”.

“We are dismayed by your remarks of discrediting the scheme which has improved access to quality treatment through free supply of essential medicines to a large number of citizens,” the letter says. “We wish to let you know that most of us and our close relatives and friends also use the medicines… and have found it to be effective and safe. Neither have we heard nor seen any person dying or suffering from minor or serious side effects by the use of these medicines in the state of Rajasthan.”

It further adds,“It is the rigorous system of testing of medicines by drug testing laboratories under the supervision of the Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation that the quality of medicines has been ensured… Therefore,we request you to not malign the scheme which has significant impact over poverty reduction and improving health status.”

The signatories include Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan,and Kavita Srivastava,general secretary,People’s Union for Civil,among others.

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