Healthcare in Nepal: A must-read overview

Healthcare in Nepal

Born in a middle-class family in Nepal, a young Nepali has always had high aspirations to go abroad for further studies. It’s their dream - earn an international degree, land a high-paying job, and travel.

However, when they’re miles apart, caring for their parents can be difficult. If they travel and set their heart on living abroad, their parents will be left alone. Worrying about your aging parents is normal - especially when you’re living abroad. It can be even more challenging when you are not able to directly look after them, and tend to their medical needs.

This is the story of the growing youth of Nepal, who strive to make something of themselves, at the cost of leaving their families behind.

Healthcare in Nepal is an emerging sector, and it is difficult to manage medical services in the country. Despite the prominence of hospitals, clinics and healthcare centers, stakeholders of healthcare in Nepal are still trying to bridge the gap between the immense demand and underwhelming supply.

Despite this, only 9.7 percent of the remittance income is spent on health and education. This explains a small portion of the situation of health education and healthcare in Nepal. People are far from prioritizing healthcare in Nepal - instead, around 28 percent of the average Nepali’s income is allocated for savings, and 23.9 percent is spent on food and clothes.

To learn more, we’ll have to delve into the crevices of the history of healthcare in Nepal.


When did it all start?

It wasn’t until the 1660s that modern medicine was introduced in Nepal. This was done by Christian missionaries, who started health service and education in the country. After some tumultuous political situations, this healthcare in Nepal was stalled. Eventually, however, the modern era of medical service in Nepal began after the British residency doctors began treatment.

The next phase of healthcare in Nepal began with the onset of the Rana regime. During the 104 years of the Rana rule, several hospitals and dispensaries were established throughout the country. This was accompanied by the establishment of the first public hospital, Bir Hospital, along with various impactful health policies, including The National Health Policy (NHP) of 1991, which is the first sectoral health policy.

This was soon followed by the third phase of healthcare in Nepal: post-democracy. This opened up an opportunity for the private sector to get involved in the medical service in Nepal. With the involvement of private enterprises, the quality of medical services considerably improved; new technology was introduced, a significant pool of doctors were now available, and the accessibility of healthcare in Nepal was increasing.

Now, you might think, “Why should I know about the history of healthcare in Nepal?”

In order to comprehend the current state of healthcare in Nepal, it’s essential to understand where it originated from. You see, compared to the rest of the world, Nepal started out quite late when it comes to healthcare in Nepal. This is also one of the many reasons why medical services in Nepal  are finally stepping into a high-caliber stage.

Take the US for instance. The percentage of national health insurance coverage for all or part of 2018 was 91.5 percent in the US. Furthermore, healthcare spending in the U.S. has risen from 16.4 percent of GDP in 2009 to 16.9 percent of GDP in 2018.

Take another example: Canada. Canada has "single-payer" health care, which means that the government pays for health insurance for citizens and permanent residents via taxes, and people receive care through publicly funded hospitals and private doctors.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, the public health insurance plan - started by the central government in the 2016/17 fiscal year - is yet to cover 38 of the 77 districts. Many people are not particularly aware of this service, which has affected the access to healthcare in Nepal.


The silver lining

Several improvements in healthcare in Nepal are underway. One of the most notable improvements is the availability of geriatric health services in eight referral hospitals, including Norvic International Hospital.

Lauded with the Best Regional Hospital Certificate 2017 from The Socrates Committee Oxford, UK, Norvic specializes in a range of geriatric services like orthopaedics, cardiology, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, among others. With the huge number of patients who seek services at this hospital, it may be difficult to get an appointment.


Looking for comprehensive healthcare in Nepal?

For the youth of Nepal who want to care for their parents, even from afar, we are here to help.

At Embrace HealthNet, we connect you and your loved ones to your healthcare needs. Our partnership with Norvic International Hospital ensures that you get nothing but the best for your health. With Embrace HealthNet, you don’t have to wait at the doctor’s anymore. You can easily inquire about appointments online, and educate yourself on healthcare in Nepal.

We help you simplify your medical plans. How? A complete coverage of health services based on your preferences, and a real-time payment system - we’ve got you covered. Looking for a quarterly check-up? Or perhaps, a Health Savings Account? Or maybe, a dietician consultation? Based on your healthcare needs, you can simply choose from these medical plans: Primary, Comprehensive and Enhanced. Click here to know more about these, or contact us for more information.