Cancer, renal, paralysis patients to get benefitsThe government has decided to provide Rs5,000 monthly allowance to persons suffering from cancer, kidney failure and paralysis caused by spinal injuries.
The government has decided to provide Rs5,000 monthly allowance to persons suffering from cancer, kidney failure and paralysis caused by spinal injuries.
A Cabinet meeting on Thursday approved the proposal tabled by Health Minister Deepak Bohara.
According to the decision, the families of patients suffering from three diseases will be provided with the allowance each month.
Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha, chief of Curative Service Division at the ministry, said they will soon develop a work plan on providing the allowance for the patients. He said they have proposed forming a Health Security Fund where taxes levied on tobacco and liquor products will be collected. The fund will be used to provide the allowance to the patients.
Although the ministry has not exactly defined its working modality, officials say that hospitals and rehabilitation centres will distribute allowances. An estimated 17,000 patients are eligible for the allowance, according to the Health Ministry. The new scheme will costs Rs85 million each month, taking the government’s annual outlay for free health programme to nearly Rs 2 billion.
The government has been providing free services to the patients suffering from liver disease, thalassemia (intracranial haemorrhage), anemia, stroke. Besides, the government has been providing Rs100,000 aid to patients of heart diseases, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. As well as extending free kidney transplantation services through public hospitals, the government has been extending financial support for poor patients to undergo dialysis.
Impoverished people suffering from those diseases and conditions can apply for the scheme on the recommendation of an eight-member district committee headed by the Chief District Officer. Another committee chaired by the Health secretary will endorse funds for the eligible patients.
Dr Chaudhary appointed health secretary
The government has appointed Dr Pushpa Chaudhary as secretary at the Ministry of Health.
A Cabinet meeting on Thursday appointed Chaudhary to the post, Health Minister Dipak Bohora said. Chaudhary was working as acting secretary at the ministry following the retirement of her predecessor Dr Kiran Regmi. Dr Regmi retired on December 4. Dr Binod Man Shrestha and Dr Sushilnath Pyakurel were also in the fray for the post.
Chaudhary had previously worked as director general of the Department of Health Services, director of Paropakar Maternity Hospital, Thapathali, and director of the Family Health Division under the Department of Health Services.
Under the Health Services Act-2014, officials working at the 12th and 11th levels with at least five years of experience are eligible to be appointed as secretary.
Dr Chaudhary was recently dragged into controversy over financial embezzlement. In June, the anti-graft body CIAA had dispatched a letter, asking the Health Ministry to take action against her over her alleged involvement in financial embezzlement while procuring goods at the Paropakar Maternity Hospital, Thapathali. Dr Chaudhary was director of the hospital at the time. She denies the allegations, though.
Dr Chaudhary is the third female official to land the top post at the Health Ministry, after Dr Sudha Sharma and Dr Regmi.