Finance Ministry refuses Health Ministry budget

  • benefit for cancer, renal disease, spine patients
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Finance ministry officials say budget cannot be issued without proper guidelines and availability of name list of beneficiaries

Jan 23, 2018-The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has denied allocating budget for the programme of the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide Rs5,000 monthly allowance for patients of cancer, renal diseases and paralysis caused by spinal injuries. 

A Cabinet meeting on December 28 had approved the proposal tabled by Health Minister Deepak Bohara. 

However, MoF has said that without proper guidelines and availability of list of person affected by the diseases, it cannot issue the budget. 

An estimated 17,000 patients are eligible for the allowance, according to the Health Ministry’s initial plan. The new scheme will costs Rs85 million every month, taking the government’s annual outlay for free health programme to nearly Rs 2 billion.

Officials at MoH said they have begun preparing the guidelines to launch the programme. 

“We have a draft guideline ready and discussion is underway on the reimbursement mechanism,” said Dr Bikash Devkota, a senior MoH official. 

Decision made by the Cabinet states families of patients suffering from three diseases will be provided with the allowances every month. 

Minister Bohora had proposed that forming a Health Security Fund where taxes levied on tobacco and liquor products will be collected to run the programme. 

The government has already been providing free services to the patients suffering from liver disease, thalassemia (intracranial haemorrhage), anaemia and stroke. 

Besides, the government has also been providing Rs100,000 aid to the patients of heart diseases, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and free kidney transplantation and dialysis services to impoverished people through public hospitals. 

Impoverished people suffering from those diseases and conditions can apply for the scheme on the re-commendation of an eight-member district committee headed by the Chief District Officer. Another committee chaired by the Health secretary will endorse funds for the eligible patients.

Published: 23-01-2018 07:54

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