Health Research forecasts surge in medical bill, Gives green signal for medical insurance expansion

Kathmandu: Nepal has the highest number of untimely deaths due to non-communicable diseases(NCD).The death toll from the NCD is about two-third of the total death due to diseases. It excludes the casualties caused by the ongoing Covid19 virus caused pandemic.

According to data released by international organizations studying the state of public health in the world, by 2040, 80 percent of all premature deaths will be due to non-communicable diseases.

The Global Burden of Disease Report 2019 points out that COPD, Ischemic heart disease, Stroke, Lower respiratory infect, Neonatal disorders, Cirrhosis, Tuberculosis, Asthma, Diarrhoeal diseases, Chronic Kidney diseases, Self-harm are the major causes of premature death in Nepal.

Malnutrition, air pollution, tobacco, high blood pressure, unbalanced diet, occupational hazards, high blood sugar, alcohol, dirty and polluted water, high or low temperature are identified as the main factors behind these diseases or premature death.

According to the recently published data of the Global Warden of Disease 2020, the average treatment cost per person in Nepal is Rs. 6,844 annually. It is projected to increase by 80 percent to Rs. 12,390 by 2050.

Non-communicable disease is a kind of disease is a kind of disease which is not transmitted to another person. Anyone who comes in contact with a person who is suffering from NCD is not at risk of contracting the disease. For example: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, kidney failure, etc.

According to the study reports, the population affected by both communicable and non-communicable diseases is increasing in Nepal due to natural disasters caused by increasing environmental imbalances. Also, the number of untimely deaths due to accidents has increased due to weak roads and expansion of transport infrastructure. Since 2020, the number of natural disasters such as floods, landslides and erosion has been increasing in Nepal.

Various study reports show a surge in health expenditures and spread of both non-communicable and communicable diseases due to the climate change in Nepal. Accordingly, the health insurance service will also be affected. On one hand the demand for health insurance increase and the claim too.

Currently, Government of Nepal has implemented health insurance scheme that covers medical treatment expenditure upto Rs. 1 lakh. It has covered only 14 percent of the total population. It shows that there’s still a big opportunity for health insurance service in Nepal. As there’s some limitation and poor implementation of government sponsored health insurance scheme, life and non-life insurers can explore opportunities for medical insurance services.

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