KATHMANDU: The government has given priority to the health sector in the budget of the coming fiscal year.
This was stated by Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada while presenting the budget for the coming fiscal year 2020/21 on Thursday.
According to Khatiwada, the emphasis has been laid on expanding the scope of health services and building health infrastructure among others.
Dr. Khatiwada said that a significant budget has been allocated in the health sector for the prevention of coronavirus infection and the improvement of the health system.
He said the budget has been allocated to set up quarantine and resources and increase the scope of testing in high-risk areas.
He said a budget of Rs 6 billion has been allocated for the control of coronavirus infection. Similarly, free health insurance of up to Rs 500,000 will be provided for doctors and health workers.
Meanwhile, the budget of the Ministry of Health and Population has been increased from Rs. 68.78 billion to Rs. 90.69 billion for the coming Fiscal Year. The budget for the coming fiscal year is 22.09 billion more than the current fiscal year.
The government has allocated Rs 12.66 billion for the health sector infrastructure.
Rs 5.10 billion has been allocated to start the ‘One Doctor, One Health Institution Program’ program and Rs 14.72 billion has been allocated for the construction of 272 more health institutions at the local level.
Similarly, Rs. 4.22 billion has been allocated for the treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases.
Basic hospitals with 5 to 15 beds will be established and upgraded at each local level, while former district hospitals will be upgraded to 25 to 50 beds and zonal hospitals to 200 beds general hospitals.
Modern health desks and quarantine houses will be set up at international airports and major international border checkpoints
It has been said in the budget that a 300-bed communicable disease hospital will be constructed in the Kathmandu Valley, a 250-bed ICU bed will be set up in the Kathmandu Valley and the state capital, and a 50-bed communicable disease hospital will be operated in all the state.
Similarly, Pokhara Hospital, Karnali Institute of Health Sciences, Koshi Hospital, Narayani Hospital, Bheri Hospital and Dadeldhura Hospital will be developed as specialist hospitals.
A total of Rs 12 billion has been allocated for the development of health infrastructure.