Government Reluctant to Entrust Health Insurance Programme to Private Sector

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Government Reluctant to Entrust Health Insurance Programme to Private Sector

June 16: Minister for Health and Population Birodh Khatiwada has said that private insurance companies will not be entrusted with the health insurance programme. The government had announced in the annual budget for the  upcoming fiscal year that the health insurance programme, which is currently being run by the Insurance Board under the Ministry of Health, will be entrusted to private insurance companies.

Replying to a questions raised in the parliament on Wednesday regarding such provision, Minister Khatiwada said that the health insurance program will not be given to the private companies. He said that the program will be continued as per the Health Insurance Act.

The Health Insurance Act has provision for the board to run the programme. Minister Khatiwada clarified that the health insurance programme will be implemented accordingly.

“I am not in favor of implementing new provision, nor will I ever do so. Whatever provision and purpose is written down in the prevailing act, health insurance will move forward accordingly. I will be here till mid-December,” Khatiwada said in the parliament.

Even the Health Insurance Board was dissatisfied with the government's policy for the upcoming fiscal year. The provision to entrust the health insurance programme to the private sector companies was opposed by various stakeholders as well as lawmakers while discussing the budget in the parliament.

According to the health insurance programme operated by the government, five-member families can get medical treatment up to Rs 100,000 annually. To avail such facility, they have to pay an annual premium of Rs 3,500. Despite being called insurance, the government introduced this programme as social security scheme. Stakeholders express that the programme promoted as social security should not be handed to a private company.




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