CHITWAN, Oct 5: BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital of Bharatpur, which is a major government-run hospital in the country for treatment of cancer, has been delaying the Extended Health Service (EHS) although the project implementation is long overdue.
The hospital's service is deteriorating after most of its doctors neglected their duty and started focusing on private clinics and hospitals. Hence, the hospital's management committee conceived EHS last year to provide 24-hour service to patients as well as to prevent the hospital's doctor from working outside the hospital.
Despite strong interest to operate EHS by the then Health Minister Gagan Thapa, the project is yet to be implemented. A taskforce led by Dr Bijaya Chandra Acharya was formed by the hospital's administration to address this issue. Dr Acharya was appointed the executive director of the hospital six months ago but he is yet to take initiative to implement EHS.
Despite carrying a huge potential for the hospital's improvement, Dr Acharya said EHS is not possible yet. “If we operate EHS, the number of patients in the hospital would drastically go up. However, we do not have adequate number of beds to accommodate such a large number of patients,” he said, adding that it would be very difficult to operate EHS until they have adequate number of beds.
According to him, they cannot operate EHS until the hospital has basic infrastructure to operate it. “We'll definitely operate EHS after we have the required infrastructure. But until then, we cannot say for sure when the service would come in operation,” Dr Acharya added.
As the hospital provides shelter to its doctors and other staff, Dr Acharya said there is a need to prohibit its doctors from working outside. The hospital also provides special allowance to encourage its staff not to work outside the hospital. However, apart from some specialist doctors at its radiology unit, most of the staff in the hospital work outside.
The hospital, which came in operation 18 years ago, has a total of 605 employees, including 52 specialist doctors, 20 medical officers and technicians and administrative workers. Around 121,000 patients visit the hospital every year.