Seti Hospital demands surgery equipment, gets CD-4 counting machine insteadSeti Zonal Hospital of Sudurpaschim Pradesh had requested for reagent gloves and equipment essential in the laboratory and operation theatres, but what they received from the Social Welfare Ministry was a CD-4 counting machine.
Seti Zonal Hospital of Sudurpaschim Pradesh had requested for reagent gloves and equipment essential in the laboratory and operation theatres, but what they received from the Social Welfare Ministry was a CD-4 counting machine.
The CD-4 is a machine used to measure the number of blood cells in HIV infected people before starting antiretroviral (ART) medicines, and the Seti Zonal Hospital already has one.
According to Dr Hem Raj Pandey, the lack of reagents in the laboratory and equipment in the operation theatre has affected the day-to-day functioning of the hospital.
He said that his hospital had written several times to the concerned ministry (Social Welfare Ministry- Province 7) informing it about the necessity of the kits and equipment in the hospital, but his demand is yet to be taken into consideration. “We never asked for a CD-4 counting machine; we already have one. They haven’t given us the equipment that we are in dire need of,” Pandey said.
The hospital also sent a carbon copy of the demands it submitted to the provincial Social Welfare Ministry to the Ministry of Health and Population.
Pandey came to Kathmandu on Monday to meet with federal ministry officials in person to draw their attention to the shortage of equipment at the hospital. “I have requested the spokesperson of the Health Ministry and other concerned officials to supply us with reagents and equipment as soon as possible,” Pandey, said.
Likewise, women seeking institutional delivery services at the hospital have not received cash incentives for months now. Every year over 8,000 women reach the hospital seeking safe delivery services at the hospital.
The hospital administration said that it had stopped providing incentives since October. “Every day we receive dozens of calls from women, who inquire about safe delivery incentive, but we don’t have the money at our disposal,” he said, adding that every day the hospital needs about Rs 50,000 for incentive with 20 to 25 women coming to the hospital for safe delivery services. Of Rs 45 million budget granted to the hospital for the safe motherhood programme, the hospital has so far received only Rs 15 million.
The hospital will also soon be compelled to stop providing free service under the social welfare programme to differently abled people, senior citizens, war victims, among others, if the budget is not released immediately to continue the programme, informed Pandey.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said that several government hospitals throughout the country have been facing problems in managing the social welfare programme due to lack of coordination among various government agencies.
“On our part, we failed to teach officials at the provincial ministries about the importance of these safe delivery services and how these issues should be dealt with sensitivity,” Mahendra Prasad Shrestha, Chief of Health Coordination, MoHP, told the Post.
Earlier, the Health Ministry used to allocate budget to the hospitals directly wherein the hospitals initiate procurement as per their need. Starting this year the central government provided the budget allocated to hospitals through the provincial governments.