KATHMANDU, Dec 17: Private health institutions across the nation started providing free of cost health services to 10 percent of their bed capacity from Friday.
According to the agreement reached between the government and private medical institutions, nursing homes, clinics, community hospitals, private hospitals and medical colleges will provide the facility to poor, helpless, homeless, elderly, single women and disabled, Hom Raj Dahal, general secretary of the Association of Private Health Institution of Nepal (APHIN), informed adding that a circular reminding the same to all its member institutions was issued earlier.
Dahal who is also a part of the Sumeru Hospital management team informed that out of its 100 beds, the hospital has allocated 10 beds for needy people from Friday. “We have set up a different ward for such patients with five beds. Another five beds have been allocated to them in each of our five departments including one in gynecology,” he said.
The agreement was reached on the basis of provisions made in the Good Governance Act. The Act necessitates private medical institutions to provide free of cost medical services to 10 percent of the hospital seats.
According to the agreement, physician counseling fees, laboratory fees, bed charge, nursing and hospital diagnostic fees and oxygen cost will be exempted to the beneficiary patient. The facility however does not covers cost of sophisticated surgeries and medicines. In cases of complex surgeries, and chronic diseases, the patient will be referred to the nearest government hospital, Dahal informed. He further added that the APHIN team will monitor the implementation from Monday.
There are 154 private hospitals including private medical colleges with a total capacity of 7,394 beds across the country, APHIN said. State-owned health centers and hospitals provide free health treatment to all patients across the nation. On Monday, Health Minister Gagan Thapa had announced the agreement by organizing a press conference at the ministry.