Access to Health Insurance Program in Madhes is far below than Karnali

Kathmandu: The participation of Madhesh Province in the health insurance program, which is an ambitious social security program of the government, is even weaker than that of Karnali Province.

According to the dashboard of the Health Insurance Board(HIB), which has been operating the health insurance program, 17.31 percent of the total population of Karnali is covered under the health insurance program. However, only 5.48 percent of the total population of Madhesh Province has been covered under the health insurance program.

Madhes province comprises 8 most accessible district of southern Nepal. It includes Parsa,Bara, Rautahat, Salrahi,Mahottari,Dhanusa, Siraha and Saptari. All these districts are well connected with the main national highway and the access to road, transport, health services, education, employment is far better than Karnali Province. Karnali Province comprises ten remote hilly district of mid-western Nepal. It includes Humla, Mugu, Dolpa, Jumla, Jajarkot, Kalikot, Surkhet, Dailekh, Salyan and Western Rukum. Most of these district remain disconnected during monsoon season.

Although Karnali is considered a remote area of ​​the country in terms of access to health care, more people have participated in the health insurance program than in Madhesh Province. According to the HIB, 315,718 people from Karnali Province have registered for the health insurance program. The population registered from Madhesh Province is 345,512. Although Madhesh Province has higher number of enrollment, it lags behind Karnali by almost one third of the percentage of total population.

The health insurance program covers 18.21 percent of the total population. On this basis, even though Karnali is close to the national average, the situation in Madhesh Province is disappointing.

According to the HIB, the contribution of Madhesh Province on total collected premiums is 2 percent higher than Karnali. Karnali has contributed 4.71 percent to the total premium income while Madhes has contributed 6.70 percent.

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