Executive Director at Health Insurance Board Dr Damodar Basaula argued the lack of quality health service, awareness and human resources rendered health insurance ineffective.
So far, only 5,304,270 people have been covered by health insurance in the country. It was launched since 2072 BS. But only 70 percent have renewed their insurance. “We have effectively proceeded with health insurance as done in other countries. Still, we lagged behind,” he observed.
About factors affecting health insurance scheme, ongoing COVID-19 is one, he added. Failure to implement government's definition on Insurance Board as an autonomous body has made the matter worse, Basaula blamed.
For it, the Board has demanded that the government approved 372 quotas for various positions in the Board. As per the insurance policy, the Board has managed insurance of free health treatment worth Rs 100,000 when one goes for Rs 3,500 annual insurance.
For the free health treatment, the Board has reached an agreement with 441 government and private health institutions. The government itself has paid premium amounts for the groups including extremely poor people, people above 70 years of age, HIV infected and disabled people and people with leprosy and tuberculosis being insured under the Board’s programme.
So far, across the country, the insurance programme has covered 1.5 million households. Of them, the number of extremely poor is 488,004, senior citizen 634,735, HIV infected 25,289, people with severe disabilities 93,629, leprosy infected people 2,849 and tuberculosis infected people 2,474.
Eight local levels of Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts have yet to be covered by the health insurance. So far, 745 local levels of the district have been covered by the programme. The local levels awaiting the programme are Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Kirtipur, Budhanilakantha, Shankharapur and Nagarjun of Kathmandu district and Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Godabari Municipality and Mahalaxmi Municipality in Lalitpur district, according to Sirjana Paudel, section officer at the Insurance Board.
Source: National News Agency Nepal