Health sector needs more budget, says Minister Thapa

Kathmandu, September 16

The Nepal Cancer Relief Society held a programme today to mark its 34th anniversary.

At the programme, six people were awarded for their contribution to the health sector and the Nepal Cancer Relief Society received a camp vehicle to travel to different parts of the country.

“We have been building a hospice centre in Lalitpur, and the staff and local people are contributing to the budget for the centre. We expect the government to also help us in completing the project,” said President of NCRS Lokendra Kumar Shrestha.

Speaking at the programme, Health Minister Gagan Kumar Thapa said the government was trying to utilise the frozen budget of Rs 40,000,000 of the fiscal 2015/16 by December this year.

He said, “We will distribute the budget to different hospitals for necessary equipment, but the hospitals have to be responsible with the budget.”

Minister Thapa said, “The number of cancer patients is increasing day by day, and with it the demand for free treatment is also increasing. The government wants to make health services free, but it cannot afford to do this with the existing budget, which is insufficient for treatment and dialysis.”

Minister Thapa added that even though the government offers free health service, not all citizens would be able to avail the service due to the high cost of medicines.

Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, HE Glenn White said unhealthy lifestyle of Valley citizens had contributed to increase in the number of patients. He said, “Health is an individual responsibility.

People must first concentrate on their health before placing blame on the government for not providing health services,”adding, “The government allocates more budget for road infrastructure than in any other sectors.

It needs also needs to understand that other sectors also deserve a priority.”