Shortage of specialized doctors hits patients hard

Published On: August 13, 2018 03:00 AM NPT By: Rekha Bhusal

BUTWAL, Aug 13: Manisha Yadav of Marchwar in Bhairahawa was rushed to the District Hospital, Rupandehi on Friday for delivery after facing labor pain. However, she did not get maternity service in the hospital due to lack of specialized doctors.

The district hospital referred Yadav to Bhairahawa Medical College, which immediately carried out surgery and saved her and the baby's lives.

"Her condition was very serious so we referred her to the medical college to save her life," said Saraswati Pokharel, chief nurse of the hospital. "It is not a single case. We have faced many such cases here. But we have no option rather than referring them to other hospitals due to unavailability of doctors," she said.

Butwal of Rupandehi district is the temporary capital of Province 5 and Bhairahawa is the district headquarters of Rupandehi.

Though the district hospital has proper infrastructures and equipment, it lacks gynecology and pediatric services due to the unavailability of specialized doctors since a month. As a result, many patients who come to get these services here are referred to private and community hospitals.

The post of medical superintendent in the hospital is also lying vacant whereas about 150 patients visit the hospital on a daily basis. Among the total patients, 80 percent are women and children, according to information officer Sarbajit Barai. The hospital has allocated posts of six doctors including gynecologist, pediatrician and general medicine practitioners.

Dr Jwala Thapa, who was assigned as gynecologist in the hospital a year ago, left the hospital a month ago. Her husband Dr Biplab Sapkota was also appointed as medical superintendent at the hospital a year ago. Dr Sapkota was transferred to Bir Hospital in Kathmandu. Earlier, a pediatrician was hired on a contract basis but it could not get continuity.

It is obvious that doctors do not work full time at government hospitals but they work extra hours at private hospitals and clinics. They prefer the lucrative private hospitals instead of serving the people.

The government hospital, which was initially granted permission to run 25 beds, now has 60 beds. The hospital has come under the provincial government after the implementation of federalism in the country. However, the provincial government has claimed that the federal government has not handed it over to the province.

"We will manage it after the central government hands it over to us," said social development minister of the province, Sudarshan Baral. "We informed about the problem to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli by meeting him two days ago," he said.

It is reported that this kind of problem is prevalent in all 77 districts across the country.


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