Finance Minister Yuvaraj Khatiwada has unveiled a total budget of Rs 1.53 trillion for the fiscal year 2019/20. He has allocated Rs. 56.42 billion to the health sector.
Health services will be made easily accessible, reliable and qualitative. Health insurance program will be expanded all over the country in order to ensure universal coverage in basic health services. Maternity service will be provided from the stage of pregnancy to ensure nutrition of mother and child. Under this scheme, I have doubled the amount of antenatal care and transportation cost provided for delivery in health institutions. I have provisioned necessary budget for multi-sectoral nutrition program being implemented by local levels.
At least one health center will be established in every ward within the next two years in partnership with local level governments. I have provisioned to provide Rs. 4 billion grant to the local level governments to build such health institutions in 1200 wards of the country in the first phase. The medicines that the government provides for free will be continuously made available to all health centers across the country.
The construction work will be started as per the Bir Hospital Master Plan. A state-of-the-art medical laboratory with hi-tech health diagnostic system and kidney treatment center will be established in Kathmandu. All possible steps will be taken for treating sickle cell anemia, which is found to be prevalent in Tarai Madhesh belt and specially among the Tharu community there through proper medical research and diagnosis.
At least one medical doctor will be deputed in all of the health centres in the country. Government will encourage increase in production of medicines in order to make the country self-sufficient in essential medicines.
Hospitals with more than 100 bed capacity will be compulsorily required to run extended health services. Geriatric wards will also be established in such hospitals. Mobile health camps featuring specialist doctors will be organized in remote areas in collaboration with private medical colleges.
Process for establishing additional medical education institutes will be duly initiated to ensure that each province has at least one government run medical institute within its territory. A comprehensive act concerning medical academy will be enacted so as to run all medical education institutes in a well-managed and effective manner.
Nagarik Arogya program will be run to maintain good health, promote positive thinking and for personality development through meditation and yoga. I have allocated Rs. 100 million to establish Bidushi Yogmaya Ayurvedic University to conduct scientific research on Ayurvedic medicines, produce them and also provide Ayurvedic education.
Provisions will be made to deliver health services by integrating alternative treatment methods such as Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, Unani, Acupuncture, Amchi and naturopathy with allopathic treatment techniques.
Smoking and the use of alcohol will be prohibited in all public places and vehicles. A procedure will be developed to properly regulate the production, import and sale of alcohol and tobacco products.
I have made provision to mobilize rapid response teams comprising medical experts to help in efforts to curtail the spread of as well as eradicate pandemic diseases in an effective manner.