Interview with Nepal’s health minister


Gagan ThapaMy interview with Nepal’s health minister, Gagan Thapa, is in this week’s Nepali Times. Video is also available on that page.

Thapa was a rising star when I last lived here and has become Nepal’s youngest cabinet minister.

I was impressed by his knowledge of details, including about the county’s failing malnutrition plan, which I wrote about earlier. Because 8 government ministries are involved in the plan, no one knows who’s leading and “We are lost”, he told me.

While he says his priority is making policy changes that will have long-term benefits, he has also taken steps to deal with nagging issues like shortages of medicine.

But I was disappointed when a colleague discovered that while Thapa has announced free kidney transplants, he hasn’t done the paperwork to make the promise official.

Still, if he can retain his job after elections that are supposed to happen by Jan ’18, we could see much-needed improvements in Nepal’s health care system.

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