Do you think health insurance is necessary in Nepal? Please justify with facts.
For every country, they invest in health sector and it is not just for saving lives of people, but count as a crucial investment in the wider economy. When there would be increase in ill rate then it has its adverse effects on human capital development which impairs on overall productivity of the country. This is why the health sector comes under strong political commitment to treat health as a social goal and prioritizing expenditure on health.
Today, most of the countries have established social security and health insurance systems for their entire population. Every citizen shall have right to get basic health care and have equal health services. The constitution of Nepal also guaranteed these fundamental rights to every citizens. For instance, Nepal’s Interim Constitution of 2007 addresses health as a fundamental right, stating that every citizen has the right to basic health services free of cost. But the reality is a far cry. Only 61.8% of the Nepalese households have access to health facilities within 30 min, with significant urban (85.9%) and rural (59%) discrepancy (Mishra, Khanal, Karki, Kallestrup, & Enemark, 2015).
If we see the data of 2010, the around 25.2% population lives in poverty of Nepal (Poverty in Nepal, n.d.). The population under poverty are unable to get the services due to its cost. The death rate is also high to population below poverty. And, this has significant effect on average life expectancy of 55 years old. The health has been only the reach for rich people. This health insurance initiated by Nepal government will reach the health service to poverty also.
Here, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has aimed to ensure good health and wellbeing of the people by 2030. Nepal has also aimed to fulfill its commitment of achieving to ensure good health and wellbeing of their citizens. In recent, they have ensured the health care services for all. The government of Nepal has started health insurance program in few districts. According to this program, a household is considered as a unit and has to pay premium of Rs 2,500 annually to get the services worth up to Rs 50,000. If a family is unable to pay the premium, the government will pay for it (Nepal, 2018). This has initiated an exciting role in health care system. If we see the health expenditure of Nepali people then it was huge, in order to mitigate the investment government has implemented health insurance ultimately it would reduce the huge expenditure on health care services and increasing access of poor people.
Mishra, S. R., Khanal, P., Karki, D. K., Kallestrup, P., & Enemark, U. (2015). National health insurance policy in Nepal: challenges for implementation. Global health action, 8(1), 28763.
Nepal, S. (2018). Health insurance in Nepal. In thehimalayantimes. Retrieved from https://thehimalayantimes.com/opinion/health-insurance-in-nepal/
Health Insurance is a type of insurance coverage policy that covers the cost of an insured individual’s medical treatment and more. In general, health insurance covers ambulance cost, pre-hospitalization expenses like consultation fees and medical tests, cost pertaining to hospitalization like diagnosis, room, surgery and other charges, and post-hospitalization charges like medicine, doctor visit and so on. There are mainly two kinds of health insurance such as private health insurance and public or government health insurance.
Nepal is a small landlocked country where social and topographical diversification stimulates periodic epidemics of natural hazards and infectious disease. In another side, the health condition is relatively poor in Nepal than other Asian countries with high infant mortality rates and low life expectancy (Bhatia, et al., 2009). Many people living in rural areas are having a health-related problem due to deforestation, unsafe drinking water, unplanned settlements and the establishment of agro-industry.
The price of medical service in Nepal is very expensive and when a person is admitted to the hospital he/she has to pay for medically prescribed expensive drugs and other various diagnostic tests. Paying off these expensive expenses will eventually drain one’s savings. In this scenario, health insurance protects people from the spectrum of disease by making their treatment affordable.
Nepalese constitution has guaranteed basic health care and equal access to health services as a fundamental right. Accordingly, the government of Nepal started insurance program in three districts (Kailali, Baglung, and Ilam) in the first phase for ensuring quality health care services (Mishra, Khanal, Karki, Kallestrup, & Enemark, 2015). Under his program, insured people can have access to preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services like psychological counseling, vaccination, nutrition, safe motherhood, family planning, and emergency and OPD services.
In conclusion, if the health insurance policy is furthered strengthened in Nepal then many people can get benefit from good medical services and get adequate Medicare without worrying of insufficiency.
Bhatia, M., Rannan-Eliya, R., Somanathan, A., Huq, M. N., Pande, B. R., & Chuluunzagd, B. (2009). Public Views Of Health System Issues In Four Asian Countries. Health Affairs, 28 (4).
Mishra, S. R., Khanal, P., Karki, D. K., Kallestrup, P., & Enemark, U. (2015). National health insurance policy in Nepal: challenges for implementation. Global Health Action, 8 .