January 6, 2020 08:59 AM NPT
By: Janak KC
JAJARKOT, Jan 6: When it was upgraded to a 50-bed hospital from a 15-bed one four years ago, authorities at Jajarkot hospital expected due changes in infrastructures and facilities. So was the expectation of the people of the region. However, it continues to disappoint the staffers as well as patients. "The hospital was upgraded for the name sake, the situtaion never changed," said a local of Jajarkot, Keshab Jung Shah. Shah who is also considered a civil society leader added that the hospital has in fact added to the troubles of the people as the existence of the hospital has only wasted their time and energy for nothing in return. "If there was no hospital at all, they would not come here. That way they would save their time and energy," he said. "Those who come here in the hope of getting treatment have to return disappointed, what's the use!" he stated.
In view of the growing need of the people, the hospital was upgraded in the past. The government had promised all the necessary infrastructures and equipment. Similarly, the quota of doctors and nurses was increased.
"But this hospital never saw good days. There have been problems since the beginning. Earlier, it was overcrowded, now it is both overcrowded and ailing," said Shah. "Locals get agitated over this, but who to complain to?" he added.
According to a patient Prabesh Arasi of Gairikhali village of Bheri Municipality – 4, the hospital's condition reflects the government's apathy towards public health. Hundreds of patients who come to the hospital for better health either go home in a worse condition or head somewhere else seeking doctors. "You won't find doctors here. Neither are there sufficient numbers of nurses and other staffers. Go to the medical store and you won't find any drug. You will only see mess here," he fumed.
Earlier the hospital was under the central government. After the restructuring of the country, it has come under the domain of the provincial government. And people are sad that it continues to be neglected.
"It is not even like a health post. You get medicines at health post, sometimes even doctors are available there. But here, you expect nothing," said another patient, Dil Kumari.
Meanwhile, medical officer at the hospital Dr Bhupendra Prakash Malla put the blame on the management committee of the hospital. Because the management committee could not ensure timely pay and perks to staffers, nobody likes to join the hosptial or work here, he said. "When you don't pay on time, "things don't work. There are a number of such problems here," he said.
Even though there are quotas of nine specialists, there is not even single health specialist at the hospital currently. According to Dharmasheela Basnet, president of the hospital development committee, various positions in the committee are also vacant, which has affected the running of the hospital. "All important posts are vacant. The provincial government has to take action to correct things," she said.