insurance fund
insurance fund

Sustainable health insurance for all

Article 35 of the Constitution of Nepal guarantees the right of citizens to free basic health services from the state. However, in practice, health care is one of the most commercialized sectors in Nepal. There are abundant private hospitals with opulent facilities in Kathmandu and other urban areas, but healthcare facilities are still rudimentary in rural areas. According to a 2021 data from the Ministry of Health and Population, there were 110 hospitals, 10 health centers, 3,789 health posts and 3,176 sub-health posts in Nepal. The frequency of physicians is one per 18,400 people. Nepal is among the countries with the lowest global health care index—ranking 107th globally, and 6th among eight South Asian countries. The main reason for this is the inefficiently implemented health care policy over the years. Apart from that, the unbearable cost of medical services in private and inadequate facilities in government hospitals is also the reason that is alienating citizens from the constitutionally guaranteed right to basic health care services.

The manifestos of all major political parties include the implementation of ubiquitous access to health care services once they form the government. Unfortunately, the promises are broken once the respective parties command the power to operate state machinery. Since the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015, minimal progress has been achieved in this sector; no sustainable policy has been drafted, and no effective homework has been done to materialize the mandatory constitutional directive.

The foremost requirement for ubiquitous access to health care is its cost-effectiveness. If the service is too costly, as it is at the moment, a large section of the people is deprived of fundamental rights. On the contrary, the cost of health service commodities, including medicines and hospital equipment, is skyrocketing globally. Within the present health care setup, it is

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