Minister for Health and Population Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal has that the government was fully committed to citizens’ constitutional rights and respects and was sensitive to the order of the Supreme Court reports The Rising Nepal.
He has clarified that the decision on the option of charging fees from citizens for the treatment and testing of COVID-19 was made as per the demand and request of citizens themselves.
As per the recent decision of the council of ministers on October 5, the government has decided to bear the expenses for COVID treatment of the economically poor, people with disabilities, single women, senior citizens above 70, front-line workers, security forces and other civil servants serving in high-risk sectors, among others, in case they display symptoms.
“In aforementioned cases their test and treatment will be done free of cost by the government and this also establishes the principle of social justice and equality in health care,” he said.
This decision was taken in order to make COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment more effective and since it was important to give sense of assurance to the citizens falling under these categories, he added.
“There is no discrimination in the treatment of the patients seeking treatment at the MoHP-designated COVID-19 hospitals. Arrangement has been made for free testing and treatment for the poor, disabled, single women, senior citizens above 70 years of age, frontline health workers, cleaning staffs as well as security forces and civil servants working in high-risk sectors. Also, if other citizens who do not fall under these categories visit these hospitals and if they have poor economic condition, as recommended by the hospital or through self-declaration by the family members, that they are unable to bear the treatment costs, the government will bear all the costs of such patients,” clarified Minister Dhakal. A very convenient system is in place to implement this provision too and there is no need for any recommendation from any authorities or person, he added.
He said that around 2,600 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with ventilators are available and in ready condition for use across the country, while additional 400 are in the process to operate .
Minister Dhakal shared this information in a video message on Tuesday, adding further that work was underway to add 3,500 units with oxygen and monitors. Meanwhile, he clarified that there was no change in the existing policy on dead body management of those who die from COVID-19 infection.