At a time when Nepali media has been criticising the huge sums doled out by the government for the medical treatment of VVIPs, mostly political leaders, the Cabinet on Sunday allotted Rs 5 million for treatment of former Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala.
Currently, there is a proposal under consideration in the House to fix Rs 1.5 million as the upper ceiling for treatment of VVIPs. However despite the proposal, the Cabinet on Sunday allotted the money to Nepali Congress leader Sujata Koirala for followup check up in Singapore where she was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer last month.
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The issue of the cost borne by the exchequer for expensive treatment of politicians, cutting across their political leanings, has been an issue of contention the past few months.
Health Minister Gagan Thapa had taken the initiative to enforce a cap on government assistance, which was adopted after the Cabinet, over-ruling the public sentiment, sanctioned around Rs 20 million as the first installment for the check-up of former President Ram Baran Yadav in the US.
Thapa added that such treatment would only be sanctioned in case the treatment was not available in hospitals in Nepal. “From now onwards, such help from the state exchequer will be available only if the treatment is not available in government or private hospitals in Nepal.” Thapa said.