Hospitals told to allocate beds for the poor

Kathmandu, November 19

The Ministry of Health has directed hospitals throughout the country to allocate 10 per cent of the total beds for free treatment of disadvantaged, helpless and unclaimed patients as per the existing provisions. 1

According to the ‘Establishment, Operation, and Upgradation Standards of Health Institutions Directives, 2014’, it is mandatory for health institutions to allocate 10 per cent of the total bed capacity for free treatment of poor, disadvantaged and helpless patients.

The directives aim to provide accessible and quality health care services to the general public. The ministry has also directed the hospitals to fully abide by the provision and send their progress report to the concerned District Public Health Office, Regional Health Directorate, Department of Health Services and the ministry on a monthly basis. The ministry has published a public notice to this effect in national dailies and online media.

As per the provision, the concerned hospital is required to cause a beneficiary patient to fill a self-declaration form and paste a sticker reading ‘Free Bed for Disadvantaged Patient’ on the bed upon the patient’s admission for treatment. The hospitals will have to give priority to senior citizens, persons with disability and single women while offering the free treatment service.

Personal details along with photo of a patient undergoing free treatment should also be displayed in a visible place. The ministry has imposed a ban on keeping unpaid volunteers in health institutions.

“In a case where it is needed to depute any domestic or foreign volunteer for the purpose of specialised service, the concerned health institutions shall have to obtain prior approval of the ministry compulsorily,” said a notice issued by the ministry.