KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) is preparing to table a proposal at the cabinet meeting to provide PCR tests and treatment for COVID-19 patients free of cost.
Secretary at the MoHP Laxman Aryal said that the Ministry plans to table the proposal, ensuring that PCR tests and treatment of Covid-19 is free in line with the Supreme Court’s recent verdicts.
“We have to present a proposal at the cabinet meeting to make arrangements in line with the verdict of the Supreme Court after formally receiving the judgement,” said Health Secretary Aryal while speaking at a meeting of the parliament’s Education and Health Committee.
The Health Secretary’s statement follows the recent decision of the Supreme Court to quash the government’s petition seeking judicial review of the apex court’s verdict last month, which ordered the government to provide PCR tests to all those who want it, as well as treatment for Covid-19 patients at free of cost.
He said that the government had decided to collect charges from Covid-19 patients after hospitals started to face financial losses. According to Health Secretary Aryal, the government began to charge patients after it faced difficulties in paying salaries to health workers in government hospitals.
“We have said that we should ask charges with those who can afford the treatment as it was difficult to pay salaries and allowances to health workers in government hospitals,” he said. “The government had been providing treatment to Covid-19 patients free of cost from the beginning. In now way, we have tried to shrug our responsibility,” he added.