Kathmandu, August 11
The Immunisation Rule, 2015, which recently came into effect, has stipulated a provision of compensation or medical treatment to the victim if vaccination causes adverse impacts on the person’s health or results in maiming or death.
According to Rule 18 of the law published in Nepal Gazette on August 6, the concerned victim of immunisation or his/her kin may file a complaint with the Advisory Committee through the District Public Health Office for compensation within seven days of such incident. “On receipt of complaint, the committee shall forward it to the probe panel within seven days,” the rule states.
The panel shall conduct a thorough investigation into the case, record statement of the party related to the victim and collect evidences to ascertain whether or not the victims should be provided medical treatment or compensation. If the panel deems it necessary to provide compensation to the victim, the amount shall be fixed on the basis of the severity of the impact on health. “The panel shall have to submit its report, accompanied by its decisions, to the Advisory Committee within 35 days,” the law says. The committee shall provide the compensation amount as recommended by the panel to the concerned victim or his/her kin within 15 days. In the case of maiming, the concerned health institution shall bear the victim’s medical expenses.
Similarly, the law has it mandatory for parents and guardians to get all children in their custody immunised. As per the rule, the vaccines to be given to children should be pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation and meet all the prescribed requirements.
Any health institution desirous of operating immunisation service shall have to submit an application to the concerned DPHO for licence. However, it is not applicable in the case of government health institutions. The health institutions licensed to operate immunisation service shall be required to make arrangements of separate vaccination room, refrigerators exclusively for vaccines, safe disposal of vaccine vials and bio-medical waste, free vaccine as specified for immunisation service and publication of immunisation schedule, among others.
The licence issued to health institutions shall be cancelled in case of violation of the law. The rule also requires health institutions to maintain a detailed record of persons immunised by them. The concerned DPHO shall carry out monitoring of immunisation service operated by health institutions to ensure that they have abided by the rules.
A version of this article appears in print on August 12, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.