The Nepal government ceases funding for treatment abroad

According to The Himalayan Gazette, Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has said the government will not bear the medical expenses of any person for treatment in a foreign country as per the Public Health Service Act, 2018.

The MoHP said no one would be entitled to any amount from the Disadvantaged Citizens Medical Treatment Fund for the cost incurred while receiving treatment abroad. The government had recently endorsed the ‘Disadvantaged Citizens Medical Treatment Fund Directive’ for establishment of a separate fund under the MoHP to provide financial aid to needy citizens for medical care and treatment.

Any beneficiary shall be entitled to a grant amount of up to Rs 400,000 (US$3,540) for treatment for prescribed diseases within Nepal on the recommendation of a three-member committee led by the chief of the concerned local level. Any needy citizen suffering from cardiovascular disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal injury, head injury, renal ailment and sickle cell anaemia may apply, accompanied by a recommendation of the local level, to the committee.

Upon receipt of an application, the committee shall make a recommendation to a government hospital for providing necessary treatment to the concerned patient. The concerned hospital may refer the patient to any other government health facility within Nepal in a manner to avail the treatment grant not exceeding the prescribed amount. A person diagnosed with renal disease will get up to Rs 400,000, and cardiovascular disease and other prescribed diseases up to Rs 100,000 depending on severity of the case.

The article says that the Nepal government used to provide millions to former VVIPs, VIPs, ministers and political leaders from the state coffers for their treatment in foreign hospitals, while depriving the general public of even minor medical service in the country.