Pyuthan District Hospital fails to provide effective health servicesMost people in Pyuthan are compelled to seek medical care elsewhere as doctors are not always present at the district hospital.
Buddhiram Sarki, 73, of Baddanda in Ward No. 4 of Pyuthan Municipality took his 71-year-old wife Sukundra to the District Hospital in Bijuwar a few days ago. His wife is suffering from movement disorders.
The hospital referred Sukundra to the local medical clinic citing that the hospital could not treat her there. A doctor of the clinic then referred her to the Butwal-based Lumbini City Hospital and Medical Science Pvt Ltd. She was taken to the city hospital in an ambulance covering a distance of 133 kilometres by road.
Buddhiram says after three days at the city hospital, he could no longer afford to keep his wife admitted.
“I spent Rs 120,000 at the hospital in three days. I could not bear the treatment cost so I moved my wife to Gurans Hospital in Butwal where the cost of treatment is less,” he said.
Sukandra is currently admitted at Gurans Hospital and Buddhiram has returned to Pyuthan to manage money for his wife’s treatment.
“Now I have to sell our house and property for my wife’s treatment,” he said. “Just keeping her at the hospital is not enough. We have to bear more expenses of food and accommodation since we are seeking treatment outside the district.”
Most Pyuthan residents are compelled to seek treatment outside the district since the health infrastructure there is poor, says Buddhiram.
“The district hospital does not have doctors and other medical professionals. Because of this, patients have to be taken to hospitals outside the district,” he said.
Laxmi Prakash Raj Bhandari, spokesperson and also the chairman of Ward No. 4 in Pyuthan Municipality, said, “Doctors at the District Hospital do not stay on duty regularly. Patients are facing difficulties in receiving treatment. We tried our best to reform the hospital, but failed to do so.”
According to Bhandari, the municipality had also helped the hospital administration to construct physical infrastructures.
“We have also informed the chief district officer of Pyuthan about the condition of the hospital. On Monday, when a team of municipal officials reached the hospital, there were only two health workers—a health assistant and an auxiliary health worker,” Bhandari said.
The District Hospital in Pyuthan is a 50-bed health institution with two positions of medical specialists and five medical officers. The positions of medical specialists have been vacant for a long time now. There should have been five medical officers at the hospital but only one is on duty at present. Two of the medical officers are in training, one on leave and the post of another one is vacant. But even that one doctor on duty is found to be absent on most days.
Chief District Officer Khimraj Bhusal says he has received numerous complaints about mismanagement in the hospital.
“There are issues with filling the vacant posts at the hospital. Dr Sabhu Kafle, acting medical superintendent, is currently in training in Butwal. She will soon join the hospital,” Bhusal said.
Video X-ray and lab services, among others, are also irregular at the hospital. “We will soon inspect the hospital and take stock of the situation and try to reform it through the hospital development committee,” said Bhushal.
“The hospital used to receive 400 patients on a daily basis but these days, hardly 100 patients visit the hospital,” said Bhandari, the ward chairman of Ward No. 4 Pyuthan Municipality.