Health insurance programme a blessing for the impoverished in Rukum (West)The data of the District Hospital showed that more than 9,571 people have received treatment under the programme since its launch in May 2018.
Earlier this year, in mid-April, seven-year-old Yagya Bahadur BK, broke his hand after falling off a tree.
Kali Bahadur, Yagya’s father, who works as a daily wage worker in India, took him to Nepalgunj for treatment. “I was sent to the Nepalgunj-based teaching hospital for further treatment,” said Kali Bahadur, a resident of Banfikot Rural Municipality Ward No. 5.
For his son’s treatment, Kali Bahadur did not have to spend a single rupee. All costs—a total of Rs 50,000—were covered by his health insurance, shares Kali Bahadur. “Thanks to Banfikot Rural Municipality, my son’s condition improved. The local unit had helped me get my health covered with an insurance policy,” he said.
Kali Bahadur was just a case in point. There is a long list of locals who have benefitted from the health insurance programme in the district. They have been receiving treatment at the District Hospital and various other government hospitals in Nepalgunj and other cities.
The health insurance programme was introduced in the district in 2018. So far, there are 42,684 people who have taken health insurance under the programme. Among them, 22,604 are females. Bharat Bahadur Khadka, the coordinator of the Health Insurance Programme in the district, said that Rs 66.3 million has been invested in medicines and treatment in the district so far. “Patients are undergoing treatment at District Hospital, Chaurjahari Hospital and Aathbiskot City Hospital among other health facilities in the district and they all have their insurance,” said Khadka.
The data of the District Hospital showed that more than 9,571 people have received treatment under the programme since May 15, 2018. Dr Mahesh Chaulagain, chief at the Health Office in the district, said that the insured people received medicines worth Rs 10 million from the district hospital alone. He said, “We are making efforts to ensure that all the facilities available at the hospital are accessible to every patient.”
Likewise, Chaurjahari Hospital also has so far treated more than 51,000 patients (who received health insurance) from the local unit. Dil Bahadur Giri, one of the administrators of the hospital, said that more than 15,000 insured people received treatment in the first five months of the current fiscal year. The Aathbiskot City Hospital has also treated around 3,000 people (who received health insurance) till date.
Those seeking insurance for their family members have to pay Rs 3,500 as registration fee. “Within this scheme, five members of a family can receive treatment (free of cost) up to Rs 100, 000,” said Khadka, adding that they have mobilised 73 employees in each of the wards of the district for the insurance programme. In total, there are 73 wards in Rukum (West). Most of the local units have also helped impoverished people to get health cover, said Khadka.
Health officials said that the flow of patients in the health facilities have increased after the start of the programme. Ishwor Rawal, an auxiliary health worker at the District Hospital, said that since the introduction of the insurance scheme, people have started opting for full body checkup which was a rarity earlier. “Because of the health cover, people now feel more comfortable going for checkups. People would earlier opt for health checkups only when they fell ill,” said Rawal.