Newly constructed hospital in Kapilvastu yet to come into operationThe hospital was built for Covid-19 patients but has been unable to start services due to a lack of human resource.
Shivaraj Municipality had started the construction work of a hospital in mid-May, amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. The construction of the building has completed, but the hospital is yet to start its services, as it lacks human resources.
“The physical infrastructure of the hospital is ready. We are facing problems running the hospital due to a lack of manpower,” said Sheshkanta Paudel, chief administrative officer of the municipality.
According to him, the hospital, Basic Health Center, a few months ago had appointed two auxiliary health workers and auxiliary nurse midwives on a contract basis.
“For the time being, we are going to deploy them to the hospital and start providing health services,” said Paudel.
In May, an executive meeting of the municipality had decided to construct the hospital for coronavirus patients. Mahadev Pokharel, chairman of the consumer’s committee responsible for the construction work, said the hospital was built at the cost of Rs 7.2 million.
“The municipality had provided Rs 6.5 million and locals donated the remaining 10 percent of the construction amount,” said Pokharel.
The hospital building has six rooms that can accommodate six beds each, a store room, a room for health check ups and two other rooms for staff.
“We constructed the hospital within three months to help the municipality fight against coronavirus. But the hospital has yet to start its services, as it does not have doctors and nurses, among other medical staff,” said Pokharel.
However, the executive committee of the municipality has already endorsed the position of a medical doctor for the hospital.
“The isolation centre, which is being operated at a resort in Kharendrapur, will be shifted to the hospital after the hospital comes into operation. The health facility will be developed into a municipal hospital after the coronavirus pandemic is over,” said Netraraj Adhikari, mayor at the municipality.
Shivaraj Municipality is not the only local unit in the district that is ill-equipped to deal with the pandemic. The Kapilvastu District Hospital, the only hospital in the district headquarters of Taulihawa, has been sealed for the past two weeks, depriving many of health services. The hospital management decided to seal the hospital on August 10 after 25 of its health workers tested positive for Covid-19.
Similarly, Bijayanagar Rural Municipality is also facing difficulties in managing its Covid-19 patients, mainly due to a shortage of skilled human resources.
"The risk of coronavirus transmission is increasing day by day. But we have not been able to effectively control the disease’s spread and provide treatment to the infected people due to the shortage of health workers," said Gopal Thapa, chairman of Bijayanagar Rural Municipality.
Out of the posts for 30 health workers in Bijayanagar, 11 of auxiliary health workers and auxiliary nursing midwife are vacant now.
In Krishnanagar Municipality, four posts of MBBS doctor and six posts of senior auxiliary health workers and auxiliary health workers are vacant in Shivaraj Hospital. Likewise, 26 posts of health workers in Maharajgunj, 13 in Shuddhodhan and eight in Shivaraj municipalities in the district are vacant now.
Kapilvastu is ranked ninth across the nation and first in Province 5 in terms of total cases of Covid-19. A total of 1,045 people have been infected with the virus in the district so far.