Doctors advise prime minister to rest more and work lessPhysicians attending to Oli must convince him that he should avoid exertion, public functions and long meetings, doctors say.
Two days after he was discharged from the hospital, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Saturday briefed ruling party leaders on his health condition.
At Saturday’s Secretariat meeting, according to leaders, the prime minister said he may need to undergo dialysis as many as three times a week.
“Doctors will suggest if I need another kidney transplant after studying the medical reports,” a Nepal Communist Party leader who attended the meeting quoted Oli as telling the meeting, requesting anonymity.
Oli was discharged on Thursday after two rounds of dialysis in 24 hours. Images showed a smiling prime minister, saying: “I am fit and fine.” At a press conference hours before Oli was discharged, Dr Chakra Raj Pandey, director of Grande International Hospital, said the prime minister was doing well. But he left several questions raised by the media unanswered.
Multiple doctors, including some who have attended to Oli and followed his health condition for the past several years, the Post spoke with said the prime minister may appear fit and fine but his health condition demands complete rest and recuperation.
Though no clear information was forthcoming, a Baluwatar source on Friday told the Post that the prime minister’s residence was mulling over instaling a dedicated dialysis machine and supportive facilities.
After both his kidneys failed, Oli had a kidney transplanted back in 2007 and doctors say the two rounds of dialysis performed on him in two days meant he will need regular dialysis at least two to three times a week.
“Patients with renal failure have to undergo dialysis three times a week,” said Dr Rajendra Kumar Agrawal, president of Nepal Society of Nephrology. "I have not seen the medical report of the prime minister. I am talking about the universal requirement of dialysis among kidney patients or those whose kidneys don’t function. Each dialysis session takes about four hours.”
Earlier on Saturday afternoon, Dr Dibya Singh Shah, Oli’s personal physician, told the Post that doctors need to conduct some additional tests.
Shah said the prime minister’s health condition is normal but refused to elaborate.
A senior doctor, who has attended to Oli for the past several years but is not part of his current medical team, said doctors attending to Oli should be careful while describing his health condition.
“Doctors looking after Oli should convince him that he needs complete rest and that he should avoid exertion,” said the doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It’s good to have strong will-power, but he should acknowledge reality. The prime minister should not ignore doctors’ advice.”
Oli himself admitted last month that there have been some concerns over his health for years. In an interview with Kantipur, the Post’s sister paper, Oli talked about his health condition since his prison days and after the kidney transplant.
Concerns over Oli’s health condition had started to grow in August when he flew to Singapore for treatment. His advisers and officials, however, did not release proper information on his health condition, prompting the general public to speculate.
Around 10 days after his return from Singapore, Oli again went to Singapore where he underwent plasmapheresis, a process that filters the blood and removes antibodies, a necessary procedure for someone who has a transplanted organ.
But doctors say the process may either have not worked properly or the prime minister’s kidney function has slowed down.
“There are only two options—second transplant or regular dialysis,” said the doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Second kidney transplantation, however, can be risky, given the age factor and other medical conditions like diabetes.”
According to the doctor, physicians attending to the prime minister as well his advisers should urge him to rest more and work less.
“The prime minister should refrain from attending public functions and meetings for long hours. He was reportedly working for up to 18 hours and not catching enough sleep,” said the doctor. “He wants to engage more in governance, but he needs to accept that he needs extended convalescence.”