Parties’ healthcare promises sound too good to be true

Kathmandu, November 16

All major parties — Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre — have pledged to improve healthcare services in the country in their election manifestos.  Given what the parties have promised in the healthcare sector, they sound too good to be true.

The NC in its manifesto says no one will die of preventable diseases. It says the party will work to make treatment available for all kinds of treatable diseases.

The party also promises to construct 15-bed hospital with maternity services in each rural municipality, a 25 to 50-bed modern hospital in each municipality and bigger hospitals in metropolitan areas. Nursing training will be given to local women in each ward, the NC manifesto says.

The NC also says that it aims to reduce infant mortality and maternal mortality. Free dialysis services and tests for uterus cancer will be expanded to the local levels.

Similarly, the joint manifesto unveiled by the CPN-UML and the CPN-MC says fundamental right to health of all citizens will be guaranteed by bringing them under the insurance cover.

The parties also promise to make health services free for children below 15 years of age and elderly aged above 65 years.

It also promises to build 25-bed hospitals in each rural municipality and 50-bed hospital in each municipality. Mobile health services will be provided with necessary manpower and equipment and child mortality rate will be reduced to zero.

The joint manifesto also pledges to promote medicinal herbs and provide medicines of high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary free of cost.

In addition, the joint manifesto pledges to make dialysis and kidney transplant services free. The parties also promise to construct 1,000-bed hospitals in each provincial capital.

The salary of the health practitioners will be doubled and there will also be a provision of allowance and overtime pay, the manifesto states, adding that treatment will be made free for victims of natural disasters.

Similarly, Bibeksheel Sajha Party has also made promises to bring about reforms in the medical education and healthcare sectors.