February 21, 2019 03:30 AM NPT
By: Krishna Kisi
Republica A graphic shows the design of the proposed Khowpa Hospital in this image provided by the Bhaktapur Municipality on Wednesday.
BHAKTAPUR, Feb 21: To a great joy of the locals, Bhaktapur Municipality is set to start its own hospital service. With this, the municipality is going to be the first among six metropolis and the 293 municipalities across the country to operate its own hospital. President of Nepal Worker's and Peasant's Party, Narayan Man Bijukchhe is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the hospital building amid a program on Thursday morning.
There are six metropolitan cities across the country. Ours is a municipality. And yet, we are going to construct a huge hospital. This is a great achievement for us. -- Sunil Prajapati, mayor of Bhaktapur Municipality
"It will be called Khwopa Hospital and will be 25 bedded for now," said Sunil Prajapati, mayor of Bhaktapur Municipality. "We have done all necessary homework to start this hospital."
According to Prajapati, the news of the hospital has brought smiles on the face of Bhaktapur people and indeed for the right reason. Once the hospital comes into the function, people expect to have easy access to health services.
"We have been mulling over establishing the hospital for a long time now. We looked for land, planned for constructing the building, and then thought for a name," said Prajapati. "On Thursday we are going to lay the foundation stone of the proposed building and then the rest of the work will speed up."
An excavator had been working on making the site of the hospital's building even since the last one month. With the topography of the land corrected, the land is now ready for starting the construction of the building, Prajapati said.
"There are six metropolitan cities across the country. Ours is a municipality. And yet, we are going to construct a huge hospital. This is a great achievement for us," elated Prajapati stated.
Even though people had very high expectations from Kathmandu Municipality, it is yet to make any tangible progress in this regard. Let alone opening something like a hospital for the general public, the municipality has failed to take actions even against the chronic issues like that of dust, smoke and haphazard parking. Similarly, KMC has not been able to ensure a sufficient number of public toilet and safe drinking water services. In contrast, Bhaktapur Municipality has scored impressively in several fronts.
"We have left no stone unturned to develop our city while keeping our cultural aura intact. We are extremely aware that our heritages do not lose their beauty and originality while we are working on development projects," Prajapati said.
Apart from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Biratnagar, Pokhara, Bharatpur, and Janakpur are other metropolitan cities in the country. Reports indicate that those metropolitan cities are struggling to meet the dreams of the people sold during the local level election.
Prior to this, Bhaktapur is also famous for Khwopa Engineering College. During the local level election, candidates had promised to work rigorously in the sector of health and education.
"After the 1998 election, we had been able to open up seven colleges here including the Khwopa Engineering College. Now, after winning in the last local level election, we have now preparing to operate a hospital. There are strategies we are working on in order to fulfill the promises made to the people," Prajapati said.
The new Khwopa Hospital is being built near Chyamhasingh Public Health Center and spread in seven ropanis of land owned by the municipality. So far, three health centers are being operated by the municipality.
"Among those health centers, the one in Chyamhasingh Health Post offers even emergency services," reported Prajapati. "That has been highly beneficial for the needy."
The other two health posts are at Bhagwatisthan and Byasi. In all these health centers, at least 300 patients go for a checkup on a daily basis.
As per information, there are three health specialists in each of those health centers with a total of 22 doctors, 61 medical staffs and 90 volunteers.
"We need to expand health services. Health is people's basic right. We are going to make the services in the health centers even more effective, the opening of the hospital will significantly add in this direction," Prajapati sounded promising.
According to him, presently Rs 140 million has been allocated for the project. "This fiscal year, we have allocated Rs 140 million for the hospital building. The estimation for the building is Rs 600 million. We will not compromise on the quality of the building and other infrastructures," Prajapati said.
The municipality has planned to complete the building and other infrastructural construction within three years and bring the hospital in operation immediately after that. "The goal is to provide quality health services to the public at minimum cost."