Understaffed Tikapur Hospital overwhelmed by patientsThe hospital has only three doctors to tend to the sick.
The summer heat has shot up the number of patients visiting the Tikapur Hospital to an all-time high, with as many as 500 people visiting the hospital on a daily basis.
The hospital, however, is not equipped to deal with the high number of patients, according to Dr Nawaraj Sharma, a medical officer at the hospital. The hospital’s inability to cope with the patient numbers has led to long queues at the ticket counter.
Bijaya Rawal, a patient standing in a queue outside the hospital’s ticket counter on Wednesday, said, “I’ve been standing here for the past three hours just to register my name for a check-up. It’s very hard to get a ticket here.” Health workers at the hospital said that the number of patients suffering from viral and other diseases is on the rise.
Sharma said that the number of patients visiting the outpatient department has also increased.
He said, “The number of patients suffering from seasonal diseases is increasing. We have been treating as many patients as possible.”
According to the hospital administration, there’s only one ticket counter in the hospital. The hospital cannot operate other counters due to a shortage of staff, including doctors.The hospital has 14 posts for doctors; 11 of them are vacant.
“Three doctors are managing hundreds of patients,” Sharma said.All six posts of medical specialists are vacant. The hospital administration has time and again requested the Ministry of Health and Population to fill in the vacancies, but to no avail, according to Dr Narendra Kumar Khanal, medical superintendent of the hospital.
“The hospital needs paediatricians, gynaecologists, orthopedists, psychiatrists and physicians. Since we don’t have specialists here, we refer patients to either Nepalgunj or to India-based hospitals,” said Khanal.Around 800,000 people living in the eastern part of Kailali and Rajapur area in Bardiya depend on the 51-bed hospital for medical services.