Universal Health Coverage: Draft bill sent for deliberationThe Cabinet meeting forwarded the draft bill on universal health coverage to its Draft Committee for deliberation on Tuesday, paving way for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to present the draft of Health Insurance Bill-2017 before Parliament for endorsement.
The Cabinet meeting forwarded the draft bill on universal health coverage to its Draft Committee for deliberation on Tuesday, paving way for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to present the draft of Health Insurance Bill-2017 before Parliament for endorsement.
The committee will deliberate on the draft bill on Sunday before sending it back to the Cabinet for endorsement. Once the Cabinet has endorsed it, the bill will then be tabled in Parliament.
Health Minister Gagan Thapa said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has placed the bill in high priority and directed the committee to fast-track the deliberation process.
The government expects to table the bill at Parliament by next week.
The passage of the bill will guarantee health coverage and access to all citizens.
The government is already running a pilot project on social health insurance in the districts of Ilam, Kaski, Myagdi, Baglung, Palpa, Achham, Baitadi and Kailali under its Social Health Security Programme, and now it wants to expand the programme nationwide. Only this time, the programme will have more robust provisions to look after the health care needs of all citizens and will have a strong legal basis to ensure universal access, officials said.
The poor and the marginalised will particularly benefit from the universal health coverage through insurance premium wavier schemes.
But there is a catch: The poor are supposed to get the waiver based on the state-issued security identity cards, but the government has yet to come up with a complete list of the citizens who fall below the poverty line.
The Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoCPA) has so far completed the poverty mapping in 25 districts.
Officials at the MoH said the provisions offered to the poor in the universal health coverage scheme cannot be implemented until the MoCPA has issued security identity cards to the poor