Lawmakers demand health insurance for all
Lawmakers today registered a proposal of urgent public importance in the House of Representatives, stating that the government should provide health insurance to all the people of the country, according to Health Insurance Act 2017.
Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Khaga Raj Adhikari, a former health minister, presented a proposal of urgent public importance with the support of two lawmakers from his party Anjana Bisanke and Man Kumari GC.
The proposal asked the government to implement the Health Insurance Act which states that every Nepali citizen should have his/her health insured.
Speaking during discussion, Adhikari said the Ministry of Health and Population should run hospitals within all 753 local levels and seven provinces with the required equipment and human resources.
“There should be quality medicine in all hospitals and they must have proper emergency, ICU and other facilities,” he said.
He also asked the government to increase quota of doctors in government institutions. “There are only 1,400 doctor quotas now in government institutions, which are not enough,” he said. Adhikari also asked the ministry to send at least two doctors to one local government.
Taking part in the discussion, main opposition Nepali Congress Whip Puspa Bhusal said that there were challenges in implementing the insurance policy of the government. He also asked the government to run hospitals in the provinces with air ambulance.
Replying to lawmakers’ queries, State Minister for Health and Population Dr Surendra Yadav said that the government could only finish health insurance of all Nepalis by 2030. He further said his ministry would finish 50 per cent health insurance of people by 2020.
Yadav said the government was running health insurance in 33 districts and his ministry was planning to run it in 11 more districts this year. To strengthen the health sector, Minister Yadav said the ministry was going to add 211 more hospitals in different parts of the country.
However, he said the government could not implement what they had earlier written in this year’s policy and programme presented by the President Bidhya Devi Bhandari in the Parliament which said the government would open a 15-bed hospital in each of the 753 local levels.
“We don’t have money to open those hospitals,” State Minister Yadav said.