ROLPA, Jan 2: Rolpa District Hospital has decided to stop the 50 percent discount it used to provide on the medical expenses of pregnant women coming to the hospital for delivery. Due to the cut in the discount, financially weaker women now have to pay the full charge for deliveries.
Claiming that the discount provided previously was for encouraging women to give birth at the hospital, head of the district hospital, Sushil Acharya, said, “We do not need to provide the discount now as it is not relevant anymore to make people aware to visit the hospital.” He added that the hospital is currently facing a financial crisis.
“We have to pay Rs 1.8 million annually in salaries to the staff,” Acharya said, “We had to cut the discount in order to bear the operational costs of the hospital.” The health workers of the hospital share a similar opinion.
“The level of public awareness has increased now,” Mina Kunwar, who works at the hospital, said, “We do not need to make the pregnant women aware about visiting the hospital now. Hence, the discount is unnecessary.”
The hospital administration has said that it had to stop the discount as the central government no more provides it budget while the local government, too, hasn't paid attention to the matter.
Expressing his dissatisfaction over the government's failure to provide funds to continue the discount to the needy families, senior health worker at the hospital, Kul Bahadur Dangi, said, “The state needs to focus on the health of the citizens.”
The hospital is operating amidst numerous difficulties. Employees at the hospital complain that even though many political leaders have visited the hospital, none of them have paid any attention to the miserable condition of the hospital.
“Former speaker Onsari Gharti and the current Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara are from Rolpa. Former minister Barsaman Pun visits the hospital occasionally,” an employee of the hospital said, “Yet no one has paid any attention to the hospital's problems.”
“It seems that the members of the committee are trying to increase their income by stopping the discount,” Mayor of Rolpa Municipality, Purna KC said, “It was better when the discount was provided.”