A spat between the Centre and the states over who was working harder to contain swine flu reduced the state health ministers’ conference held on Friday to review the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) meeting into a farce.
State ministers bristled with anger over Union Health Minis-ter Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remark that state governments were “chickening out” and not doing enough to contain the H1N1 pandemic, which has infected 2,539 people and caused 48 deaths.
“Some states are doing good (work) but the majority have not done well,” said Azad. “This is the maximum limit to which we (the centre) could stretch ourselves to. Beyond this the state governments should shoulder their responsibility, which they haven’t done.”
A furious Gujarat health minister J. N. Vyas said, “We’re not here to listen (to) these words.”
Azad said he had written to state governments asking them to identify hospitals and train doctors, but there had been no response.