Work plan sent to bill committeeThe government has decided to forward a work plan on medical expenses of VVIPs to the bill committee of the Cabinet.
The government has decided to forward a work plan on medical expenses of VVIPs to the bill committee of the Cabinet.
Once endorsed, the move is likely to check the trend of making foreign trips for medical treatment, which are rife among VVIPs.
The work plan also aims to put a ceiling of Rs 1.5 million on the financial assistance that the state provides to the needy. The financial assistance will be provided only once and if anyone requires treatment at foreign hospitals, the government’s medical board will take a decision in this regard, according to the work plan.
A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday had decided to forward the work plan to the bill committee for approval.
The work plan focuses on treatment of the VVIPs and VIPs inside the country. If the treatment is not possible in the country and the person has to go abroad, the Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, can grant up to Rs 1.5 million.
Health Minister Gagan Kumar Thapa said the work plan focuses more on encouraging leaders and other VVIPs to take healthcare services in the country.
“If the leaders and other senior officials want to go to the best hospitals in the world, they are free to go,” said Thapa. “However, they have no right to seek funds from the state. If this work plan is approved as per our proposal, they will be granted up to Rs 1.5 million for their treatment in foreign land. But they can go outside the country only if the medical board certifies that the treatment is not available in Nepal.”
The work plan also aims to make the medical board accountable. If the medical board certifies that treatment is not possible in Nepal and if it is proved incorrect later, board members will have to face action.
The medical board is chaired by the director of Bir Hospital and heads of surgery department and medicine department of the hospital are the members.
More often than not political leaders and VVIPs do not consult the medical board before seeking financial support from the government.
The work plan defines VVIPs as former and incumbent president, vice-president, prime minister, speaker and chief justice. Similarly, VIPs include incumbent deputy speaker, deputy prime ministers, ministers, chief of constitutional bodies and lawmakers.