KATHMANDU, June 5: Health Minister Gagan Thapa has said that it is challenging to work as a minister.
Organizing a press meet at the Ministry of Health on Sunday, Minister Thapa said that being a minister was a very difficult job. “It was my first experience as a minister,” said Thapa, “I have still many things to learn to work for the people.”
Thapa was appointed the health minister on August 27, 2016 - his first appointment as a minister. However, following Prime Minister's Pushpa Kamal Dahal's resignation, the process to elect a new government has already started in parliament. Minister Thapa, who contributed to formulate and update some seven dozen policies of the health sector, was not satisfied with the working system of the country.
“When I took initiatives to move the files forward, I was able to do that within a week. But it took months when the same job was done as per the practiced system,” said Thapa. “I can't say I did a lot for the country. But I definitely tried to make the health sector better as one of the most essential services,”
Every day, 50-60 people come to the ministry asking for financial support for treatment, according to Thapa, who decided to provide free health services to patients for various diseases. “The free services were earlier provided for only eight diseases. I increased that to 12 serious diseases,” he said. “I tried to work honestly to upgrade the health services.”
However, Thapa was proud of his initiatives to formulate policies such as purchasing medicines and medical equipment from manufacturers for cheaper price, partnership to produce health specialists, treatment cost limitations for VIPs, quality health services, Bill of Health Act, insurance policy and provision of two doctors in each primary health center.
“I mainly focused on formulation of policies which are the foundations for any sector,” said Thapa, “I have started some good initiatives and hope that the coming minister will give continuity to them. However, if I get another chance to work as a health minister, I could make a substantial contribution to implement of my policies,” he said, thanking to the Prime Minister, government officials, government agencies, media, private sector and people for cooperating with him in his every step.