Kathmandu, February 16
The government has issued Procedure for Providing Livelihood Allowance to Renal Disease, Cancer and Spinal Injury Patients to enable them to afford nutritious food, additional drugs, and transportation to and from hospital.
According to the procedure, the government shall manage financial resources for the purpose from the Health Tax Fund which collects excise duty levied on tobacco products for the distribution of livelihood allowance to patients of chronic diseases. The amount deposited in the fund established under the Tobacco Product (Control and Regulatory) Act, 2011 is used for controlling smoking and consumption of tobacco products, and prevention and control of diseases caused by consumption of such products.
The beneficiaries of the monthly livelihood allowance equivalent to Rs 5,000 shall be selected on the basis of medical report and recommendation issued by specialised doctors certifying that they are in need of complete rest and are not able to continue income generation activities.
“In addition to medical report and recommendation of the specialised doctor, documents prescribed by the Indigent Citizens Medical Treatment Fund Directive, 2017 and recommendation letter issued by the concerned local level should also be produced to get the allowance,” it reads.
The procedure has also provided for a provision of a three-member committee led by chief district officer for the operation and management of livelihood allowance. The committee includes chief of the district-based hospital and chief of district public health office as members.
The committee is empowered to decide on the distribution of livelihood allowance and recommend the hospital, where the patient is undergoing treatment, to provide the beneficiary with the facilities. As per the procedure, the committee is required to decide on the livelihood allowance within three days from the date of submission of an application by the patient.
“The concerned hospital shall provide the patient with livelihood allowance within the seventh day of each month through banking channel and send its statement to Management Division under the Department of Health Services on a monthly basis,” reads the procedure. It requires the division to deposit the allowance amount in the bank account of the concerned hospital in a lump sum every month for the purpose of distribution to the beneficiaries.
Any beneficiary may lodge a complaint with secretary at the Ministry of Health if he/she is dissatisfied with the process of distributing livelihood allowance. “The ministry shall communicate to the concerned patient upon necessary investigation into the complaint,” it says.
A version of this article appears in print on February 17, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.