Republica - The government is launching pilot program on universal health insurance in five districts of the country to check the viability of the plan to provide subsidized health care services to the public.
The Ministry of Health and Population, which is leading the task, said the insurance programs would be initially rolled out in Ilam, Sarlahi, Baglung, Banke and Kailali districts.
“The pilot program would cover all the people living in the five districts,” Kavi Raj Khanal, under secretary at the ministry, told Republica.
Although the date of the launch of program has not been fixed yet, the government, according to Khanal, has already started designing insurance schemes which would provide cover to individuals of five selected districts.
“This will enable those insured in the selected districts to claim for expenses made on medical services,” Khanal said, informing, “the program would be extended throughout the country within five years of its commercial launch, whe
The Himalayan: An Editorial by Dr Plianbangchang, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia
Nepal is currently reviewing policy options for financing universal health coverage.
The country now faces challenges such as high and impoverishing out-of-pocket health spending; an increasing burden of high-cost noncommunicable diseases superimposed on an unfinished health agenda of preventable and communicable diseases; dominant private provision in service delivery; and, the overall context of a large informal sector in hard-to-reach areas.
Equity must be at the centre of the universal health coverage (UHC) effort. Countries are using different definitions as they phase in UHC based on three strategy choices: (a) priority populations to be covered; (b) essential or basic package of services to be delivered; and, (c) cost subsidies to be provided. In Nepal, the ‘first phase’ is delivering an essential maternal and child service package free for the entire population.
The Himalayan: Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations Office Shanker Bairagi on Tuesday has called on the international community to provide the LDCs access to affordable and quality medicines.
Addressing the 65th World Health Assembly being held in Geneva, Envoy Bairagi underlined that the universal healthcare coverage should remain as an important addenda, recognising the fact that healthy life constitutes the foundation of overall development.
Meanwhile, he called on the development partners for full and timely implementation of all LDC related international commitments, including those contained in the Istanbul Programme of Action.
The World Health Assembly is the highest deliberative and decision making body of the leading UN Organization in the field of global public health.