More people benefitting from govt’s free health services

Kathmandu, May 30

The number of people visiting hospitals for free health services is increasing in Kathmandu valley of late. The government provides free treatment for eight diseases to poor and impoverished people.

In the ongoing fiscal so far, a total of 1,265 people got free treatment while 1,234 people had received free treatment in the fiscal 2016-17. The number was just  995 in the fiscal 2015-16.  Of the total patients receiving free treatment, 588 were cancer patients and 446 heart patients.

“Though the number of  people receiving free treatment is increasing, there are still many people who do not know about the free health services provided by the government,” said Puskar Bijukchhe, statistical officer at Planning, Monitoring and Statistics Section of District Public Health Office, Kathmandu.

According to the data with DPHO, Kathmandu, 1,960 males and 1,704 females received the free treatment in the last three fiscals. As per the data, 929 females and 724 males received the treatment for cancer. As many as 446 people received free treatment for head injury. Similarly, the number of females and males undergoing kidney transplant surgery was 168  and 278 respectively.

As many as 26 people received free treatment for spinal injury, three people for head injury, one for Parkinson and three for Alzheimers diseases.

“Still there are many people who are living with life threatening diseases as they do not know about the free treatment being provided by the government. Hence, it is necessary to launch awareness programmes so that more people can benefit from government’s scheme,” said Bijukchhe.

Patients 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 is deposited into their bank accounts.

According to the health ministry, 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.