Eight private labs have been conducting COVID-19 testing following a green signal from the government
KATHMANDU, Sep 5: Private sector health institutions have slammed the decision of the government not to provide COVID-19 insurance amount to patients testing positive at private laboratories.
As per the COVID-19 Insurance Guideline prepared by the Beema Samiti, the insurance claims of those testing positive for coronavirus only at government-run laboratories will be settled within seven days of the claim.
Issuing a press statement, the Association of Private Health Institutions Nepal (APHIN) said that the decision of the government not to provide the insurance amount to COVID-19 patients testing positive at private labs is discriminatory and not acceptable.
“The Ministry of Health and Population has granted permission to the private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testing. They [private labs] have followed the protocols and standards set by the government. So, the decision of the government not to provide the insurance amount of patients testing COVID-19 positive at private labs is inhumane and not acceptable,” reads the statement issued by the APHIN.
According to the National Public Health Laboratory, the government has granted permission to eight private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testing. As per the guideline, patients testing COVID-19 positive at these eight labs are not eligible to claim the insurance amount.
The association has also appealed to the government to scrap the decision to encourage the private sector.
Currently, a total of 47 laboratories – including private and government – have been conducting COVID-19 testing across the country.
According to Chiranjibi Chapagain, chairman of the Beema Samiti, as per the guideline, one needs to be tested positive at government-run labs to claim for the COVID-19 insurance. “There have not been any amendments to the guideline,” said Chapagain.
A total of 20 non-life insurance companies across the country have been providing COVID-19 insurance service.
Likewise, Chakra Raj Pandey, medical director at Grande International Hospital, said the decision of the Beema Samiti not to provide insurance amount to patients testing positive at private labs is unjust. “People are hit by such kinds of decisions,” he added.