HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA) has jeopardised the health sector reform programme of the government. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, it had planned to introduce a new structure of health sector to accommodate federal needs and people across the country.
As the new constitution was expected to federate the country, the ministry had been revisiting its policy in forthcoming federal states.
The ministry has taken the initiative to draft a ‘national health policy’ after 20 years to cope with the new health issues.
According to Dr Bal Krishna Subedi, focal person of the policy, the constitution was expected to envision federal structures and the policy had been developed on the basis of structural provision provided by these states. But with the collapse of the CA, the structural provisions have lost significance, added Subedi.
The proposed provision on the policy speaks for the establishment and classification of the health system on the basis of new structure of the country.
“At present, the health ministry is facing a greater challenge to come up with a specific framework for the health system of the country,” said Subedi.
Although the structure of the health system is not clear, the policy is likely to address the issues on non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases and trauma and injury through this policy, said the focal person.
At present, the burden of non-communicable disease is 51 per cent, communicable disease is 40 per cent followed by trauma and injury by nine per cent each.
He said that the policy will be speaking for financial strategy and health insurance to save people from catastrophic expenditure.
According to the policy, the basic primary health care service will be free for every citizen, secondary medical care will be free for the targeted groups and a system of insurance will be put into place to accommodate secondary and tertiary medical cares.
A range of services including the promotive, preventive curative and rehabilitative services will be spread within the health system, he added.
The focus will be on providing qualitative and increasing medical services to the general public.
Ageing was not a serious problem 20 years ago. But now the life expectancy has reached 67 years and it’s a peak time to formulate policies regarding the ageing problem in the country, Subedi said.
The ministry is also drafting a policy on the basis of international instruments on health rights that the country has ratified. The policy is also meant to cover human resource for the health sector and sectoral research.
The policy is still on the discussion phase, even after 25 rounds of talks with various stakeholders.
At present, inequality in health, escalating health care cost, inadequate performance or low efficiency of the health system, less evidence and research are the challenges facing the ministry, the focal person informed.
The policy has also made a provision to provide Ayurvedic and alternative medical services under the same health institution.
The present health system will be revised on the basis of topography and population density of the area. The service of e-governance and health service e-card will be introduced in the health institutions for organised recording system, added Subedi.