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Save Your Life, Pay First

Buleleng Health Authorities Caught Selling Rabies Vaccines When the Rules Say all Rabies Vaccines Distributed in Bali are Free-of Charge.

(11/25/2009) Bali's worsening rabies epidemic was scandalized further last week when it was discovered that both the human vaccine and canine inoculations that are supposed to be provided free-of-charge by the government were in fact being sold in the north Bali regency of Buleleng.

The confirmation that human vaccine was being sold for Rp. 188,000 (US$18.80) and canine rabies inoculations for Rp. 3,000 (US$0.30) in Buleleng has so angered local parliamentarians that lawmaker have threatened to turn the matter over to the police.

The head of Animal husbandry in Buleleng, Putu Ardika, denied that canine inoculations were being sold, claiming the Rp.3,000 fee was being used to purchase snacks for those providing the shots.

According to NusaBali dogs without owners to pay the "snack" fees are being eliminated.

Meanwhile, people reporting to the Buleleng General Hospital with dog bite victim were being told to purchase "out-of-stock" vaccine from the local drug store for Rp. 188,000.

The Head of the Bali Health service, Nyoman Suteja, has ordered an immediate end to the practice and that any money paid for human vaccine be refunded immediately.

The public relations spokesperson for the Governor's office in Bali confirmed that Governor Made Mangku Pastika was alarmed to hear reports of vaccine being sold and ordered health officials to immediately investigate the reports and set matters right immediately.