Kathmandu, January 25
The government has started providing Rs 5,000 as monthly livelihood allowance to patients suffering from kidney failure, cancer and paralysis due to spinal injury.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today handed cheques worth Rs 5,000 each to 27 such patients receiving treatment at Bir Hospital and National Trauma Centre. Six spinal injury patients, 11 cancer patients and 10 kidney patients were given cheques worth the amount during an event organised at National Trauma Centre.
Patients will receive the allowance on the recommendation of their respective district coordination committees. Patients should file an application, along with the DDC recommendation, medical reports and copies of their citizenship certificate, in the hospital where they seek medical treatment. The allowance will be deposited into their bank accounts, said Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha, chief of Curative Service Division at the Ministry of Health.
As per the MoH, patients must appear in person to receive the allowance. If the patient is unable to appear in person to receive the money, then his/her relatives will be allowed to receive the money after approval from the chief of the hospital where the patient is undergoing treatment.
The patient’s family should provide the information to the hospital if the patient dies. The money paid in allowance would be recovered from the patient’s family if they are found receiving the amount even after the death of the patient.
The MoH said budget necessary for distributing the allowance would be collected from Health Security Tax. It will be managed by levying additional taxes on cigarette, tobacco and alcohol.
“Cases of cancer, spinal injury and kidney diseases are increasing in the country. We started the move so that poor people can benefit,” said Prime Minister Deuba. The Cabinet meeting on December 28 had decided to provide additional Rs 5,000 to patients suffering from life-threatening diseases.
Those patients who have received financial assistance of Rs 100,000 will also get the additional assistance. The government has been providing financial assistance to patients from its Poverty Stricken Citizens Fund. The fund was established after the second people’s movement to provide financial assistance to people suffering from life-threatening diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, renal failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, head and spinal injury, sickle cell anaemia and stroke are covered under this programme. A total of 17,471 new and old patients have received financial assistance for the treatment of these diseases from 74 hospitals in the country in the fiscal 2016-17.
A version of this article appears in print on January 26, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.