KATHMANDU, May 6: All hospitals operating in the country will be classified on the basis of the services they provide and the facilities they have.
“For the first time in Nepal, hospitals are being categorized based on the services and facilities they have,” said Pratap Paudel, advisor to Health Minister Gagan Thapa. “It has become possible to classify hospitals after the Cabinet approved the Nepal Health Infrastructure Development Standard 2017 on Thursday,” he added.
Earlier, the government used to categorize hospitals on the basis of the number of beds.
“Now, hospitals will be categorized based on the services they provide and the facilities they have,” said Paudel. “The new rule focuses on infrastructure standards, human resource, equipment and available services to categorize hospitals,” he added.
Each ward in a local unit will have a health unit in a new form while each municipality and rural municipally will have at least a primary hospital with minimum 15 beds as per the new standard. District or zonal hospital will be categorized as the third tier.
The special hospitals will be set up at the central level. Separate hospitals for heart, cancer, maternity, respiratory, and more will be established as per the provisions of the new rule, said Paudel. “The government will develop necessary guidelines and directives for minimum requirement and services to be provided by the hospitals,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are over 4,100 government health institutions including 110 hospitals, 203 primary health centers and 3,789 health posts across the country with a population of 28.7 million. The private sector has 154 hospitals including private medical colleges with 7,394 beds across the country, according to the Association of Private Health Institution of Nepal.