Kidney patients deprived of dialysis services in KanchanpurPatients suffering from kidney-related complications have to visit either Dhangadhi in Kailali or bordering Indian towns for treatment.
Jaya Bahadur Bista, a resident of Shuklaphanta Municipality ward 11, has been frequenting a hospital in Dhangadi for the past year to avail of the dialysis service. “Despite having a well-equipped hospital in the district, we have to go to Seti Provincial Hospital in Dhangadi or to bordering Indian towns for dialysis,” Bista said.
Kidney patients in Kanchanpur, a Tarai district in Sudurpaschim Province, are hugely affected due to the lack of dialysis service in the district. The patients have to visit Dhangadhi in Kailali or bordering towns of India to get the service.
Five dialysis machines were brought to Mahendranagar-based Mahakali Provincial Hospital around one and a half years ago. The hospital installed the machines and additional equipment two months ago and appointed and trained human resources.
However, the provincial hospital is yet to initiate the service due to the lack of permission from the Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health and Population.
“All preparations were completed some two months ago to initiate the dialysis service but we are unable to begin service as the department is yet to grant us permission for the service,” said Krishna Nanda Bhatta, chair of the Mahakali Provincial Hospital Development Committee. He admits that the kidney patients of Kanchanpur and other neighbouring districts are hugely affected as they have to go outside the district for dialysis service.
A technical team from the department is scheduled to visit the provincial hospital for inspection before it grants permission to operate dialysis service. “We were informed that the department’s technical team will visit the hospital by mid-April,” Bhatta said. “We hope to begin the service once we get the go-ahead.”
The Mahakali Provincial Hospital has five dialysis machines. According to the hospital administration, four machines will provide regular dialysis service while the fifth one will be used for emergency cases. The hospital has appointed four trained staff nurses and provided training to three doctors at the hospital to cater to patients seeking the service.
Meanwhile, kidney patients demand immediate commencement of the dialysis service. They submitted a memorandum to the hospital development committee on Wednesday, urging them to initiate the service at the earliest.
“Mahakali Hospital has everything but we are deprived of the dialysis service,” Bista said. “The concerned authorities should know our hardships and commence service soon.”
According to Bista, more than 40 kidney patients from Kanchanpur regularly visit Dhangadhi for dialysis services. “Most of them go to the hospital twice a week for dialysis. Imagine the hardships we have to go through to get treatment,” he said. “Many other people go to India as it is not easy to get a turn for dialysis in Dhangadhi. Many people from Bhimdutta, Dodhara Chandani and Bedkot municipalities visit Indian towns for the service.”
Kidney patients were hit the hardest during Covid-19 pandemic as the Nepal-India border remained closed for months. The patients had to acquire a pass from the district administration office and fulfil other due legal procedures to go to India for dialysis.
Kidney patients complain that dialysis service is quite expensive and that people from poor economic backgrounds cannot afford the service. “Private health institutions charge Rs4,500 or more for each session of dialysis,” Bista said. “Even the Seti Provincial Hospital charges up to Rs3,500 if one has to get dialysis service more than twice.”