Following the cost-free dialysis service introduced in Nepal last year, the Government has now made kidney transplants free in Nepal.
There is a prevalence of renal failure patients in Nepal. The rich ones may have it a little easier as they can afford to treatment. But those who aren’t very prosperous have been forced to live their lives supported by periodic dialysis just because they are unable to afford the cost of a kidney transplant.
It’s a good news to all of the kidney patients and their families that the Ministry of Health has brought forth a decision to make kidney transplants free in Nepal.
Health Minister, Gagan Thapa, said that the decision has been made to favor those who cannot afford to pay the kidney transplant costs.
“The decision has been made by the Ministry, other important preparations will be made to bring the decision into effect,” said Thapa.
However, there is one condition. To get the facility, it is mandatory that the transplant procedure is carried out within Nepal and not elsewhere.
According to Statistics, every year Nepal sees around 3000 patients with cases of kidney failure. However, only around 220 are known to have received treatment with a kidney transplant in Nepal or in any other country. Nepal has a total of 201 dialysers in 21 hospitals across the country. Around 1930 patients are using them for dialysis every year.
“We have increased the margins of receiving organs from a live donor. We have also made the necessary legal arrangements for taking organ donations from brain-dead patients,” said Thapa. He added, “I will be easier to receive organs for transplant and the transplant will be free of cost. It will make things much easier for kidney patients.”
According to Health Minister, the necessary steps are being taken to make sure the medicines the patients take post-operation are of good quality and are easily available.
Thapa also said that this step has been taken keeping long-term benefits in mind. “Instead of continuing life by means of dialysis, a transplant can help people return back to normal life,” Thapa said. “This will, in the long-term, increase productivity and reduce the cost of providing dialysis to patients.” He also said that even the experts suggested that instead of a free dialysis, a transplant can help patients return to work and help in the nation’s GDP.
In addition, the Ministry of Health is also taking forward the initiative to reduce the number of kidney patients and increase awareness about renal health among the general public.
The cost of kidney transplants are unbelievably high. Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital charges around NPR 400,000 to 500,000 for the transplant, while the Human Organ Transplant Centre charges NPR 300,000. The HLA test done before the operation alone costs about NPR 100,000.
The initiative by Ministry of Health indeed is a good one. Now people will not have to worry about not being able to afford treatment. It will, surely, help in the overall health, well being and productivity of the country.
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