RAJBIRAJ, Nov 26: Demanding improvement in the current condition of Rajbiraj-based Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, district leaders of United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) in Saptari district have started to fast-unto-death protest since this week.
UDMF district coordinator Subi Yadav, Nepal Sadbhawana Party Gajendrabadi's central leader Bikash Tiwari, retired principal Jayasundar Khidhari Yadav, Sabitri Pandit and Prabhakar Singh are the participants of the hunger strike which started on Wednesday.
Central leader Tiwari said they were forced to stage the hunger strike as their protests since the past three months, demanding various improvements in the hospital, have remained largely ignored.
“Severe mismanagement and haphazard dumping of garbage among others have been causing severe inconvenience to the patients. We are protesting because the current image of the hospital is unacceptable,” he said, adding that the hospital has reached this sorry state because of the negligence of the hospital staff.
According to him, none of the staff in the hospital try to understand the plights of the patients, let alone provide them with quality treatment.
UDMF under Tiwari's leadership has been organizing various protest programs to pressurize the hospital administration to get better organized. They have also submitted memorandum to the hospital.
Their demands include making the hospital child-friendly, provide patients with healthy food, make clean drinking water available, among others. Likewise, they have also demanded addition of specialist doctors, provide technical facilities for patients, include maternal care, and provide facilities of shelter for doctors.
“Despite submitting the memorandum, the hospital's acting Medical Superintendent Dr Dilip Sah expressed ignorance about our demands when we requested him to fulfill them. After that, he has been avoiding our repeated attempts to contact him,” said Tiwari.
Although the zonal hospital has quota for 18 specialist doctors, the hospital operates with just one specialist. Apart from the post of senior consultant physician, all other posts of the hospital are empty. Another matter of shame for the hospital is that it has been running under acting medical superintendent for the past one decade.
The hospital administration said it has already written applications to the Department of Health Services numerous times requesting human resources for the posts, but they are yet to receive any response.