Lack of health facilities deprives Nepalis of medical careConcerned government agencies are responsible for inequalities in human development, experts say.
Due to a lack of health facilities and unequal distribution of the existing ones, a lot of people throughout the country have been deprived of health care services.
The United Nations’ Human Development Report-2019 published on Tuesday also states profound inequalities in human development.
According to the report, of the two children born in 2000, one with very high human development index and the other with very low human development index, the first child has more than a 50 percent chance of being enrolled for higher education, while the second is less likely to be alive.
Some 17 percent of children born in low human development countries like Nepal in 2000 die before the age of 20, compared with just one percent of children born in high human development countries.
“Circumstances almost entirely beyond their control have already set them on different and unequal—and likely irreversible path,” said the report. “The inequalities are likewise high within countries—both developing and developed.”
The report also unravelled a huge gap in life expectancy between developed and developing countries and within the countries.
Dr Baburam Marasini, a public health expert, said the concerned government agencies are responsible for inequalities in human development.
“Ensuring health care to all and making them educated and well informed is the responsibility of the government,” Marasini told the Post. “Human development situation is better in areas which have better health care facilities and the areas which do not have such facilities lag far behind.”
Currently, most of the healthcare facilities within the country lack adequate infrastructure and human resources. Services such as cesarean delivery, minor operation, consultant services and immunisation services are scarce in most of the hospitals across the country.
Bidhya Tamang, chief of district public health office in Gorkha, said most of the health care services in the district have been affected by the ongoing employee adjustment process.
Patients are forced to seek treatment in Kathmandu or Chitwan due to lack of services in the district.
“A lot of people have been deprived of healthcare services,” Tamang told the Post over the phone from Gorkha. “Some people have to walk three to four days to reach district headquarters for healthcare services. Even after reaching the district headquarters, they are denied the services.”
According to Dr Minigmar Gelgen Sherpa, a former director-general of the Department of Health Services, unequal distribution of resources was due to the shortsightedness of policymakers and political leadership.
“Policymakers did not try to understand our ground reality. How can we expect a better result when the policy itself is not based on the facts?” said Sherpa. “It is still not too late, and the incumbent government and policymakers have a chance to make things better.”