KATHMANDU, Oct 25: Of the total budget that the government allocates every year to provide monetary assistance for the treatment of eight types of chronic diseases, some 60 per cent is being spent for kidney-related diseases.
Heart, kidney, cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, head injury, spinal injury and sickle cell anemia patients get monetary assistance Rs 100 thousands from the government for treatment.
According to the Management Division at the Department of Health Services, dialysis service for kidney patients is free, Rs 400 thousands is given for kidney transplantation and Rs 100 thousands for post-transplant medication and treatment.
Prakash Ghimire, senior assistant health worker at the Division's Impoverished Citizen Treatment Fund, said that both donor and receiver receive Rs 50 thousands for laboratory tests. The government is spending more in the management of kidney diseases than other chronic diseases.
Besides, patient of an acute renal failure is given Rs 100 thousands as medication cost.
The government set aside more than one billion rupees in the current fiscal year for the Division that regulates the Impoverished Citizen Treatment Fund.
Senior AHO Ghimire stated that this amount was insufficient and drew the attention of the concerned authority to add another Rs 1 billion to render free healthcare to the poverty-stricken citizens.
He said, "The hospitals where the impoverished citizens could avail health care for free of cost are increasing. The number of patients would grow accordingly. Hence the amount allocated for the same is insufficient."
The number of patients availing dialysis for kidney stands at 23,000 currently. The treatment for a kidney patient costs from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 a month on average. The government has been contributing Rs 30,000 for the same.
The government had allocated Rs 1.2 billion under this heading in the fiscal year 2072/073 and Rs 1.33 billion the next fiscal year.
A majority of this budget went for the treatment of kidney patients followed by the cancer and heart patients, Ghimire shared.
A total of 17,867 patients were benefitted by the assistance from the Fund as of now in the current fiscal year 2073/074.