Kathmandu, November 18
Staging a protest today in front of the prime minister’s residence in Baluwatar, kidney patients demanded that monthly livelihood allowance to those suffering from kidney failure be provided immediately.
Kidney Victims Concerned Society Nepal, an umbrella organisation of kidney patients in Nepal, submitted a 14-point memorandum to the prime minister’s secretariat today. Patients demanded that haemodialysis be made free at all hospitals and kidney transplantation procedures be eased.
They demanded electronic listing of kidney patients, increase in the number of dialysis machines, provision of accommodation for family members accompanying patients and reduced cost of medicines for kidney patients. Members of the society also demanded free treatment of kidney patients at government hospitals across the country.
Balaram Subedi, coordinator of the Kidney Victims Concerned Society Nepal, said, “Kidney patients are facing difficulties as dialysis and medicines are expensive. Though the government hospitals are providing free haemodialysis services, cost of medicines are higher. Also haemodialysis machines not adequate and many of them have stopped working. The government therefore should take an immediate action to ease lives of kidney patients.” Members of the society marched from Baluwatar to Maitighar after submitting a memorandum.
The government had started providing Rs 5,000 monthly livelihood allowance to patients suffering from kidney failure, cancer and paralysis from 26 January 2018. The then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurating the programme had handed cheques worth Rs 5,000 each to 27 patients receiving treatment at Bir Hospital and National Trauma Centre. The Cabinet meeting on 28 December 2017 had decided to provide Rs 5,000 to patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Distribution of monthly livelihood allowance for the patients was put on hold later.
A version of this article appears in print on November 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.