Kathmandu, Mar. 30: Minister for Health and Population Birodh Khatiwada has pledged to enforce free medical treatment of journalists in public health facilities.
Addressing an event organized on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) here today, Minister Khatiwada reiterated to implement the provision of free medical treatment for journalists in all public hospitals across the country.
The journalists having membership of the FNJ would be entitled to free medical treatment. The arrangement would be made in the upcoming fiscal year's budget to cover 50 per cent of the premium amount by the government of Nepal for the accident insurance of Rs 700,000, he said.
The Minister expressed his concern that despite the fiscal year nearing its closure, the matter related to accident insurance for working journalists could not be fully implemented.
"Although the matter is related to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the issue is also related to my Ministry in terms of its implementation. Hence, I want this provision to be implemented during my tenure," Khatiwada observed.
According to Minister Khatiwada, he has already instructed his subordinates to take necessary measures to implement free medical treatment for working journalists.
Stating that the government had launched a health insurance programme, he appealed to all the Nepalis to come under the coverage of insurance. Extending his best wishes to the FNJ, the biggest umbrella organization of the journalists in the country, the Minister commended all journalists for tirelessly disseminating factual and accurate information and news even during the COVID-19 crisis.
Similarly, FNJ President Bipul Pokharel demanded professional security and physical security of the journalists as well as guaranteeing the freedom of the press.