- Basanta Bhujel
As of the writing of this article, the number of active corona infections in the country is around 40,000. Most of the infected have no health problems. The number of infected people with health problems is around 5,000. But the government has shied away from the obligation to provide free treatment to infected patients with effect from November 20. The government had earlier requested not to visit the hospital except in critical condition.
This time I would like permission to write an article sharing my own short experience. I am Basant Sen Bhujel. I am a retired engineer of the British Gurkha Army. While attending a meeting, I had a mini-stroke due to high blood pressure. He was rushed to the hospital in 5 minutes. All treatment was provided by the British government. I was able to stand on my own two feet and walk with a light stick. Then my health was tested again. And I recommend a BMW X1 to make it easier to go to the hospice and go out for shopping.
There is a provision to appoint a person whom you trust to take care of me. Also, the acupuncture therapist is flopping me from time to time. They come home and get treatment. There is also provision for free lifetime medical treatment and disability allowance. Universal credit card for life. The reason I got all these facilities is because I am in the British Army. But with coming to Nepal, you have to spend money from the airport. Even cetamol is not available for free. This is the situation for the citizens while it is fun for the leaders.
In our country, the state will bear the expenses of the leaders when they are ill, provide vehicles when they have to go somewhere, but the citizens will not be able to go to the hospital at their own expense even if they are sick due to corona. Taxes are twice as high as in the UK and four times as high as in Bhutan.
There is hardly any other country in the world except Nepal that collects high taxes from the people but does not fulfill even the minimum obligations to the people. If the number of patients has reached millions, then our country has reached a stage where it is not possible to treat even the patients who are around five thousand. Certainly not. Doesn’t our country have the infrastructure to treat even 5,000 patients? Certainly not. This is irresponsible to the extent of the government. This is extreme negligence. The lack of a place for the people to expect from the government is statelessness. Statelessness is the worst sign of nationalism. Which mouth calls itself a people-elected government, Communists? Which mouth calls itself a democrat? Don’t have to be accountable to the people? You don’t have to be honest with the constitution. The right to get treatment when sick is included in the list of fundamental rights of the citizens in the constitution. Based on this provision of the constitution, the Supreme Court has directed the government to provide not only free treatment but also a free PCR test. Don’t follow the court’s instructions? Is a government that does not follow the directives of the judiciary as a democrat? The judiciary is kept as a jewel. Who has included the right to treatment in case of illness in the list of fundamental rights of the constitution? Aren’t you ashamed to tear apart the constitution you have made after five years, and to say that the royalists have conspired against the constitution? The government has been instructed to make a PCR test free of cost. Don’t follow the court’s instructions? Is a government that does not follow the directives of the judiciary as a democrat? The judiciary is kept as a jewel. Who has included the right to treatment in case of illness in the list of fundamental rights of the constitution? Aren’t you ashamed to tear apart the constitution you have made after five years, and to say that the royalists have conspired against the constitution? The government has been instructed to make a PCR test free of cost. Don’t follow the court’s instructions? Is a government that does not follow the directives of the judiciary as a democrat? The judiciary is kept as a jewel. Who has included the right to treatment in case of illness in the list of fundamental rights of the constitution? Aren’t you ashamed to tear apart the constitution you have made after five years, and to say that the royalists have conspired against the constitution?
The Government of Nepal, through the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, has announced that the government has been paying for the treatment of COVID-19 till now. This announcement has exposed the irresponsibility of the government. The government has run away from its main duty. This declaration of the government is against the constitution and other legal provisions related to health. This declaration is also against the fundamental and human rights of the people. Some time ago, the Supreme Court had ordered the state to provide free treatment to Kovid-19 patients. The government’s announcement in this regard is against the court. The provision of the right to health care mentioned in the constitution as a fundamental right of the people should have been implemented during the current epidemic.
Citizens have lost their jobs due to the lockdown that has taken place at different times due to the Kovid-19 epidemic. Citizens are in financial trouble due to the loss of employment. Difficulties have also arisen in livelihood. Avoiding the government from the responsibility of medical treatment in such a situation is like putting salt in the wounds. Instead of working in a planned manner to solve the problems of the people in crisis, the government has run away from its duty. Governments around the world are playing a leading role in tackling the current epidemic. But the Nepali government has fled. What could be more embarrassing for us Nepalis than here?
It is said that the government is compelled to refrain from treating the sick due to financial bankruptcy. Who is financially bankrupt? Is it because of the corruption and short-sightedness of the leaders that the country has gone bankrupt financially? What about our agricultural products? We import agricultural produce worth Rs 200 billion a year. What a frightening sign that corruption is taking place even in the manure and weeds used by the farmers? Is coming to power meant looting the country? To serve? How can we, the people, be satisfied with the situation where the country is financially bankrupt and the citizens are relinquishing their responsibility for medical treatment but they are spending tens of millions of rupees from the state coffers in their pockets? A people’s representative is very poor, If he doesn’t even have to pay his tithe, the state will give it, but will the people’s representative take responsibility for the service or for the remuneration? The answer to that question is needed. MPs’ allowances should be determined on the basis of economic status. For example, Binod Chaudhary and Shyam Bahadur Mijar cannot be put in the same basket.
Going abroad is a compulsion for Nepalis without any interest. If Nepalis did not get the opportunity of foreign employment, they would starve to death. The government has shifted its focus from constructing a hospital for treatment to constructing crematoriums. There is a limit to humiliate people.
The Gorkha Welfare Trust has provided Rs. 3 crore to the Government of Nepal for the control of coronavirus infection. The UK is also launching a vaccine in the near future. The vaccine can be brought to Nepal as soon as possible, but the government is not taking the initiative. Looking at the character of the leaders, there is no way to take initiative. Leaders have taken the Korana infection as an opportunity to become rich, so it is unlikely that they will take the initiative to introduce vaccines.
Rather than making big speeches, the basic needs of the people can be easily met. What makes our economy weak but Bhutan strong? While the geography is the same, the climate, the soil is the same, the people are the same, we have more agricultural fertile Terai region than Bhutan. This is nothing but the incompetence of the leaders.
(Bhujel is a retired engineer in the British Army)