Free health check-up drive in Province 3 on hold due to lack of skilled human resourcesThe health programme was conceptualised to help the poor, marginalised families, conflict victims and family members of martyrs.
The Chief Minister People Health Check-up Programme, a dream project of the Province-3 government, was launched in the last fiscal year with an aim to provide free health examination facilities to impoverished people, conflict victims, family members of martyrs and marginalised communities.
The programme that was scheduled to take off at the beginning of the last fiscal year was delayed, and took off only at the tail-end of the year. And it’s been nearly six months into this fiscal year and the target groups have not yet received the promised health services.
According to officials of the Ministry of Social Development, the programme has been delayed due to a lack of skilled human resources and shortage of medical equipment.
Yubaraj Dulal, minister of social development in Province-3, said that they are unable to start the programme on time this fiscal year too. “The working guideline has already been endorsed by the Cabinet meeting. We are doing working on fulfilling our need for skilled human resources and managing medical equipment for health check-ups,” said Dulal, adding that they are also going to train the ward chairman of various wards to streamline the process of selection of beneficiaries.
Under this programme, the assigned hospital will conduct health checkups of 2,000 people in each district on the recommendation of the ward chairperson of the local units. The beneficiary should be above 30 years of age.
Last year, the provincial government had initiated the health programme from five districts of Province 3. Besides Makwanpur, the programme was launched in Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchok, Sindhuli and Dhading.
The provincial government aims to extend the programme to all 13 districts of the province in the current fiscal year, but Satish Bista, health division chief of the social development ministry, said that for the programme to be a success in all 13 districts, the working guidelines should be amended. “We have to train the ward chairmen and also manage human resources and medical equipment. It will take at least two months more for us to start the programme,” said Bista.
The ministry had allocated Rs32 million for the programme in the last fiscal year but only around Rs25 million was spent. Each hospital was provided
Rs2,200 for the health check-up of an individual. In the fiscal year 2018/19, only 7,500 received services from the programme in Makwanpur, Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchok, Sindhuli and Dhading. The service seekers had undergone lungs, liver, urine, blood pressure, obesity and kidney tests. They had also received other health services free of cost.
In the current fiscal year, the ministry has allocated Rs 110 million for the programme. Bista said, “The ministry aims to provide health services to 100,000 people in the current fiscal year. Under the plan, 25,000 impoverished people will receive health services free of cost, and remaining 75,000 people will receive 25 percent discount for health check-ups.”