Economically weak, underprivileged families deprived of health insurance in Kailali

Dhangadi, December 12

Although seven months have passed since the government implemented a health insurance programme in Kailali, the impoverished people of the district are yet to be encompassed by the insurance policy.

The Health Insurance Programme brought out a special project to include poor and needy people in the programme in the district. However, the programme has not yet helped those that it was meant for due to negligence on the part of the Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Ministry.

Manager of the Social Health Security Development Committee Kailali Kapildev Acharya said that the ministry had failed to provide identity cards to the poor, extremely poor, and people at risk of poverty, making it impossible to include them in the insurance programme.

According to Acharya, under the insurance programme, the extremely poor are to be insured for free, medium poor families are to be given insurance programme at 75 per cent discount, and those at risk of poverty at 50 per cent discount.

Acharya complained that the ministry’s carelessness had deprived the poor and needy families of the health insurance policy. He said 32 per cent people live under the poverty line in the district.

The data at the Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Ministry show that of the total population of 137,128, as many as 40,251 are under the poverty line in Kailali. Poor and needy people are deprived of facilities provided by the government including health service for lack of ID cards.

Officer Yogendra Ojha at Kailali DDC said that his office had compiled data and sent it to the centre. “The process of distributing the ID was delayed by the centre,” he added.