More people benefiting from free health service

Kathmandu, December 19

The number of people taking free health service has increased significantly, of late.

The government provides free health services to people from poor and marginalised communities.

While TU Teaching Hospital, Bir Hospital, Patan Academy of Health Science and B P Koirala Memorial Hospital are providing free health services and treatment for specified diseases, the government has selected 74 health facilities across the country to provide free health services to the poor and impoverished people.

Concerned hospitals have claimed that the number of people coming to hospitals for free health services is increasing. “Every day, 10 to 15 patients come with documents approved by local bodies,” said Sudarsan Basnet, in-charge of Marginalised Citizens Medical Treatment Information Centre at TU Teaching Hospital.

He said, since July, as many as 249  people from marginalised communities had received free health services while 141 people had got services like kidney transplant and dialysis, 48 received  cancer treatment, 56 received treatment for  spinal injury and four people underwent operation for  serious head injury. Among the patients who received free health services, 65 were female and 184 were male.

“We keep record of such patients on daily basis but have not submitted the record of such patients to the Department of Health Services for more than six months,” said Basnet.

Similarly, 275 women from underprivileged groups received the health service at Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital in the fiscal 2016/17. Since July to November, 2017, 22,389 patients received financial support for treatment, as per the data with DHS.

“People can receive financial support for treatment after meeting certain terms and conditions of the government. One should produce a document that proves the person is either impoverished or from the marginalised or underprivileged community,” informed Ram Raja Panthi, Deputy Health Administrator at Management Division of DHS.

The government provides free treatment for kidney failure, cancer, heart diseases, head and spinal injuries, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson, among other diseases.