‘Waive extra charge for Nepalis in Indian hospitals’


Ambassador of Nepal to India Deep Kumar Upadhayay has lobbied to remove the additional 15 per cent charge levied on Nepali patients for treatment at private hospitals in India.

Unlike government-run hospitals, India’s private health facilities take Nepalis as ‘other foreigners’ and charge extra fees under different headings, including translation costs, officials said.

With certain exceptions, Nepalis and Indian nationals enjoy ‘national treatment’ for health services and other facilities in each others’ territory on reciprocity basis.

As a token of neighbourly friendship between the two countries, the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 had ensured such ‘national treatment’ to citizens of both countries.

Besides Nepalis, such privilege is also given to Bhutanese nationals in India.

“We have requested various Indian private hospitals not to take additional charges from Nepali patients,” Ambassador Upadhayay told The Himalayan Times from New Delhi over phone. “The hospital authorities have responded positively,” he added.

Since Indian government cannot dictate to private institutions to waive the extra charge, Upadhayay himself has been meeting with top hospital officials in India to discuss the matter.

Ambassador Upadhayay, during the past couple of months, visited leading private hospitals namely Apollo, Medanta, and Fortis in New Delhi as well as in Gurgaon and requested their top executives to waive the additional charges, according to sources at Nepal Embassy in India.

Recently, he met with Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta - The Medicity Dr Naresh Trehan and requested to equate the medical charges levied on Nepali and Indian nationals.

As per sources, Dr Trehan had initially said that he would offer such facilities based on the recommendation of the Embassy of Nepal in India. However, after Upadhayay clarified that such procedure wouldn’t be effective, Dr Trehan assured to implement a policy of waiving extra fees charged to Nepali patients in Medanta.

Upadhayay is also said to have received positive responses from other hospitals. Though there is no official figure, thousands of Nepalis — from high ranking officials and politicians to the deprived communities — travel to various Indian cities, mainly New Delhi, for treatment. A mere 15 per cent discount is said to be a big relief for Nepali patients.

“Since every Nepali can speak or understand Hindi, they don’t need any translator in India. Therefore, they should not be charged extra amount as translators’ fees,” Upadhayay said.

Upadhyay said he would also take steps to ensure similar facilities to thousands of Nepali students who are pursuing higher studies across India.

He claimed that in most cases, Indian citizens were not charged extra at hospitals in Nepal. Nevertheless, Indian authorities and students have complained that Nepal’s medical teaching hospitals and institutes take up to 60 per cent  extra charges from Indian students in Nepal.