Villagers compelled to carry dead body to district hospital for postmortem
February 5, 2019 09:00 AM NPT
KHOTANG, Feb 5: Nara Bahadur Rai, an elderly of Ainselukharka Rural Municipality-3 in Khotang district, lost his life after being drowned in a canal of a small hydropower project last week. Initially, his body was taken to Ainselukharka Primary Health Center for postmortem but there was no doctor.
Therefore, the locals immediately arranged a tractor to take his body all the way to the District Hospital, Diktel, which is around 65 kilometers away. Bishwanath Niraula, chief of the rural municipality, informed Republica that his body was taken to the district hospital with great difficulty due to the unavailability of doctor at the primary health center.
Similarly, on January 19, an unidentified body recovered from Lichkiramche of Khotehang Rural Municipality had to be taken to Gaighat, Udayapur for postmortem, as there were no doctors in Chisapani Health Center.
There are only two primary health centers in the district. As the doctors do not regularly come to the hospital, locals either have to go to the district hospital or the neighboring district, Udayapur.
It is a compulsion to conduct postmortem of those who commit suicide, have been murdered, or have died an untimely death due to accidents or various other reasons. But the family members of the deceased often have to deal with great difficulty as both the health centers of the district do not provide regular postmortem service.
The family members of the deceased are obliged to pay around Rs 50,000 for carrying the body to the hospital. This can sometimes leave some people in debt.
According to the rural municipality's chair Niraula, family members of the deceased are provided with Rs 10, 000 as expenditure to carry the dead body to the district hospital.
There are no doctors in the health center of Ainselukharka since last Dashain. Dr Kali Prasad Yadav, the supervisor at the Ainselukharka Primary Health Center, is currently pursuing a course in MD and another doctor Aswin Bhattarai, who was hired on contract basis, has already been transferred to Kanti Children's Hospital.
"The health center has all the equipment and room required for postmortem but has no doctors," said Niraula, adding, "I have visited the concerned ministry not just once but thrice requesting for doctors. When I last visited the ministry in December, I was told that a doctor has already been sent. But we have not yet met him."