Patients treated under open sky as docs’ strike drags on

Published On: April 11, 2019 07:48 AM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

POKHARA, April 11: The agitation by doctors against the civil service adjustment bill has impacted badly on patients across the country, including in Kaski and Baglung. With OPD services halted, patients in the two districts have waited it out under the open sky . Some doctors are attending to them amid all the chaos. 

According to chief of Pokhara Health and Science Academy, Arjun Acharya, service was provided under the open sky in  view of the patients’ acute need. “Though we are still protesting, we decided to extend our services albeit out  in the open ground,” he said. 

Acharya said the doctors were actually not willing to work in that fashion  but they were eventually persuaded. “Since the last six days only the emergency ward has been in operation and the hapless patients are bearing the brunt,” he said. 

On Wednesday, some 300 patients were attended to from the hospital premises. As per  hospital records, around 13,000 patients visit the OPD on a daily basis. 

“A huge number of patients are suffering,” Acharya said adding that the maternity ward has however not been affected. 

“We are continuing our services at the maternity ward.”

The  hardest hit are patients coming here from Tanahu, Kaski, Syangja, Parbat and Baglung . The hospital is considered the  biggest in the region and has 100 doctors and 500 auxiliary staff. 

Dhaulagiri Zonal Hospital has also halted OPD services since the last six days . According to Tirthraj Gautam, information officer at the hospital, only emergency services are being provided by the hospital. “This is a nationwide protest and this hospital is also affected,” he said. 

Dr Shailendra Pokharel, medical superintendent at the hospital, stated that the government’s attention has already been drawn to doctors’ concern over the issue of adjustment. “We pointed out that the adjustment is not scientific. But the government did not pay any heed,” he said, defending the strike. “Yes, halting hospital services is hard on patients, but our voice needs to be heard also,” he added. 

He  warned that the protest will continue and can even be intensified unless  the issue is  resolved.

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