Costly dogs, cats given concession in medical treatment at Bhopal hospital as owners flash BPL card


PTI, Apr 2, 2022, 11:47 AM IST

Strange as it may seem, but many costly dogs and cats of exotic breeds are being provided medical treatment at concessional rates at a veterinary hospital here as their owners avail this benefit by showing their Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards.

The doctors at the facility say that they cannot deny treatment at concessional rate to such animals as their owners show BPL cards that are duly issued to them by the government authorities.

Between February 26 and March 31 this year, a total of 84 animals, including dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, sheep and lambs, were provided medical treatment under the BPL scheme at the State Animal Hospital here during one of the shifts. ”The hospital operates in four shifts to treat animals. The owners of as many as 37 canines, 20 caprines, 26 other animals, including rabbits, rats and one ovine, have availed concessions by showing th BPL cards from February 26 to March 31 in 1 pm to 7 pm shift,” Assistant Veterinary Field Officer Bharat Singh told PTI on Saturday.

As per the rate chart put up at the hospital, Rs 20 are charged from the above poverty line (APL) people to register themselves for treatment of their dogs, while the BPL card holders are not charged anything. The X-ray charges for the domestic animals owned by the APL category people are Rs 150, while they are Rs 30 for the BPL card holders. Similarly, the charges for the CT scan for the animals of the APL card holders are Rs 1,600 per animal, while for the BPL category they are Rs 1,200.

In the operation section too, those from the APL category are charged Rs 1,000 for major fracture operation of their domestic animals, while the BPL card holders pay Rs 500 for it. An APL category person has to pay Rs 50 to get the blood sugar test done on his domestic animal, while it is just Rs 30 for a BPL card holder.

Hospital’s Joint Director, Dr H L Sahu, said that around 500 animals are brought to the facility daily for medical treatment. ”Of them, at least 10 are brought by the BPL card holders,” he added.

Another veterinarian at the hospital said that some BPL cards owning dogs with exotic breeds like Saint Bernard worth at least Rs 40,000 come to the facility for treatment of their canine and get concessions.

”We are helpless. We can’t deny treatment at concession rate to such dog breeders and also to the ones who come with imported cats, like Persian ones, as these people have BPL cards duly issued to them by government authorities,” he added.

According to him, a proposal is going to be discussed at the meeting of Pashu Rogi Kalyan Samiti of the facility shortly to end providing concessions to the BPL card holders who own costly dogs and cats, which is unnecessarily putting a burden on the government exchequer.

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