‘Transplant better option than dialysis’

Kathmandu, January 20

A few lawmakers told a parliamentary panel today that it would be better to focus on kidney transplantation rather than providing kidney patient free dialysis service in order to reduce the burden on the state and improve the quality of patients’ lives.

Minister of State for Health and Population Surendra Kumar Yadav told the Education and Health Committee of the House of Representatives that the government’s policies needed to focus on kidney transplantation as the budget available for dialysis was very low and human resources to treat kidney patients across the country was not adequate. He also said that infrastructure needed to treat kidney patients was also not sufficient across the country.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Khagaraj Adhikari and NC lawmaker Umesh Shrestha suggested that the kidney patients above the age of 60 should be eligible for free dialysis service and patients below the age of 60 should be eligible to get government’s assistance for kidney transplant.

“Kidney transplantation centre should be established in other parts of the country also. Almost 20 percent kidney patients go to India for transplantation. Number of kidney patients has increased but the budget has been reduced,” Shrestha told the panel. A total of 4,500 patients are currently undergoing dialysis in 52 listed hospitals across the country and hundreds of the patients have been waiting for dialysis every day.

“If kidney patients undergo transplantation, they will have better life and they can work and earn money. The government’s economic burden will thus be reduced,” Yadav argued. Compared to the last fiscal when the government had allocated Rs 2.11 billion budget for kidney patients, this year the government allocated only Rs 1.10 billion. Yadav said his ministry had sought additional Rs1.25 billion for kidney patients.

Currently, the government provides Rs 400,000 to a kidney patient for transplantation and Rs 100,000 for medication.