Seti Zonal Hospital, Dhangadhi, Kailali district and its maternity ward in these recent pictures. Photo: Republica
DHANGADHI, April 11: Shalibhan Jethara, 80, who was admitted at the emergency room of Seti Zonal Hospital on Wednesday due to complications arising from high blood pressure felt even worst after receiving treatment. The reason was, nurses had injected his lean, skinny arm many times to find veins. His blood needed to be taken out, and the nurses did not find veins after multiple attempts. Later, he learned that the girls who were attending him were not certified, nurses but interns. “That is why they injected syringe for so many times. It hurt me so badly,” said the old man.
Last week, Rekha Thapa of Jugeda village of Dhangadhi delivered a baby at the hospital after cesarean surgery. The 22-year-old mother died two days after the delivery. On the second day of the baby’s birth, the deceased had complained of having pain in the stomach, but the attending doctors told her that it was because gastritis, her relatives said.
“Stating that she was having the stomach pain because of gastritis problem, the doctors did not pay attention to the complications she was having. Her stomach had swollen, and still, they did not care about her,” said Rekha’s husband, Jay Bahadur Thapa.
When the swelling in the stomach got worse, doctors speculated that it might be jaundice and told her family that she should be taken to bigger hospital for the treatment. “Their negligence in taking action cost my wife her life,” he lamented.
Patients receiving treatment at the hospital said that doctors’ negligence is taken as a norm in the hospital. And instead of trained nurses, interns handle patients.
According to the octogenarian patient Jethrala, old people like him should never be handled by inexperienced interns. “They experiment on us. Our body cannot tolerate pain. It would be better that trained nurses and doctors attend old people like us,” he said. He added that the lack of trained health workers is a grave issue. “Untrained people can even kill you,” he lamented.
The zonal hospital is also known as a referral hospital. Many health centres in the region refer their patients to this hospital for better treatment.
“Other health centres, after they fail to give proper treatment, send patients to this hospital. This is above the district hospital. This is zonal. But see its condition!” Jethrala commented.
His grandson, Manoj meanwhile stated that they would have never brought their grandfather to the hospital if they knew the ground reality at the hospital. “We did not know that this hospital is dependent on interns for delivering services. We would never come here if we were aware of the pathetic services it provides. We actually thought since it was a big hospital, it would provide better services,” Manoj said.
When the family brought the senior man to the emergency ward, even a single doctor was not present in the room. After waiting for half an hour, a doctor appeared.
“In a ward like an emergency room, there was no doctor. You can imagine the situation. After half an hour, a doctor arrived. Yet, the doctor did not attend to my grandfather. The interns were the ones who attended him,” Manoj reported.
Dilliraj Joshi had got admitted in the same hospital a few weeks ago. His experience is horrible. “I was admitted following severe viral fever. Doctors themselves had told me that I needed to get admitted. But instead of improving, my health deteriorated further,” he said.
Joshi then left for Kathmandu. After a few days of treatment, he recovered. “I realized that the medicine given to me was wrong. If I had continued taking that anything could have happened. Luckily I went to Kathmandu for treatment on time,” he reported.
There is a long list of patients full of complaints against the hospital. They lament that their money, time and even life comes was brought to risk by the hospital. “Had there been no hospital here, people would directly go to some other place; their time would not be wasted. But it’s there, and it draws people though it does not give good service,” noted Joshi. Meanwhile, Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr Hemraj Pandey stated that the hospital itself is ailing in lack of resources. There is an acute crunch of infrastructures and human resources.
“We have reported about it to the centre several times, but nothing has been done so far. In the lack of resources, we have not been able to give quality services to people,” he said.
“We receive patients from remote areas. They come here in the hope of receiving quality health treatment, but we fail them,” he admitted.
Patients, however, report that doctors serving the hospital are more centred towards their private clinics. That is why; they undermine patients coming to the government hospital, they say.