Govt endorses health insurance bill

Published On: April 13, 2017 01:59 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, April 12: The government has endorsed the Health Insurance Bill on Tuesday.
“The cabinet meeting endorsed the bill to ensure health insurance of each Nepali citizen with,” Health Minister Gagan Thapa twitted after the decision on Tuesday.

The bill incorporates provisions under which all the members of a family should sign up to health insurance policies. It makes it mandatory for families to bear the premium costs for a certain time. But for the minorities, the government will itself bear the premium charge.
As per the provision in the bill, it families and guardians should mandatorily buy polices for their new-born babies, children, senior citizens, or differently-abled members. It has also made it mandatory for elders' homes and orphanages, and among other such organizations, to sign up to health insurance policies.

Ministry proposes curbs on vehicles 

KATHMANDU, April 12: In a bid to save Valley denizens from harmful gases emitted by fossil fuel-powered vehicles, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has proposed restricting such automobiles from operating in the Valley during certain times of the day.

Health Minister Gagan Thapa tabled the proposal at the cabinet on Tuesday.

Pollution level in Kathmandu is five times the standard set by World Health Organization. 
Official records show that one cubic meter of air in the Kathmandu Valley contains at least 48 microgram of particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns, or PM 2.5.

PM with diameter smaller than 2.5 microns directly penetrates the lungs and mixes with blood, putting inhalers at risk of cardiovascular and lungs problems and cancer, according to the Nepal Health Research Council. 

As per the global standard, up to 10 microgram of PM 2.5 per cubic meter of air is considered safe, but there are some countries which have even maintained the PM 2.5 level at 5 microgram per cubic meter of air.

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