AIADMK, DMK spar over closure of mini-clinics

They lacked infrastructure, says govt.

The ruling DMK and the principal Opposition party AIADMK were on Thursday engaged in a debate on the government’s decision to close over 1,900 Amma mini-clinics across Tamil Nadu. While the AIADMK contended that the common man would be affected, the DMK argued that these clinics did not have the necessary infrastructure.

During a debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address to the House, Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami referred to the decision. Health Minister Ma. Subramanian intervened and said that except for a table and a chair, infrastructure was not at all available at these clinics.

When Mr. Palaniswami asked the Minister to take a survey of the clinics to check whether or not the infrastructure was available and the clinics were benefiting the poor, Minister for Public Works E.V. Velu said that even Kalaignar Health Insurance, which had benefited the poor, was not allowed to continue with the same name by the AIADMK government. “So, why are you getting angry?”

“I am not angry,” Mr. Palaniswami responded, when Chief Minister M.K. Stalin intervened and said Mr. Velu’s statement should not be misconstrued. “But the infrastructure at the mini-clinics was not available…”

Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments P.K. Sekarbabu said the clinics in his constituency lacked infrastructure and invited Mr. Palaniswami to accompany him to see for himself.

Earlier, Mr. Palaniswami recalled the efforts made by his government to contain the spread of COVID-19 and pointed out that the enforcement of the model code of conduct on February 26, 2021 prevented him from leading the fight against the pandemic. Since it was the initial stages of vaccination, many people were hesitant to get themselves inoculated, he argued. With the emergence of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, the government should boost medical infrastructure at once.

Mr. Subramanian responded by citing the guidelines issued by the ICMR. “The ICMR has clearly mentioned which cases should be admitted at hospital and which cases should be advised home isolation. The Leader of the Opposition should not create panic,” he said. He pointed out that over 1.75 lakh beds were kept ready.

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