Bajhang people benefit from upgraded district hospitalIn the last two years, the hospital established several medical units to enhance its services.
Bajhang District Hospital in Chainpur has been upgraded from a 12-bed facility to a 35-bed hospital. The upgrade has come as a welcome move for the local population who earlier had to rely on Dhangadi-based health facilities to seek health services.
According to the data of the hospital, the facility now receives 100,000 patients annually as opposed to a mere 7,000 to 8,000 patients before the upgrade.
In the last two years, the hospital established several medical units to enhance its services, says Dr Sandip Okheda, chief at the District Hospital. The hospital now has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a blood bank, a High Dependency Unit, a ventilator unit, a maternity unit, a PCR laboratory, a pharmacy and an Emergency Unit.
“The hospital is now fully equipped to provide all necessary medical services to the rural population from far-flung villages of Sudurpaschim Province,” said Okheda.
Parbati Aidi, a resident of Talakot Rural Municipality in Bajhang, says the hospital upgradation has come as a relief for local residents like her.
“The District Hospital has changed for the better. It now provides treatment on par with Dhangadhi-based hospitals. We are very happy,” Aidi said.
The hospital, which had only two doctors, now has eight, according to Hospital chief Okheda.
“Until two years ago, the hospital was in a pitiable condition. There was no electricity and no necessary equipment or infrastructure,” said Okheda. “We had to ask pregnant women to purchase essentials from private medical stores. But now we have our own pharmacy which has made it easier for everybody.”
The hospital also provides essential medicines free of cost to patients who can’t afford it, said Okheda.
“It was difficult to provide services with only two doctors. Sometimes, nurses and other health workers had to work overtime,” said Devraj Ratala, senior auxiliary health worker at the hospital. “Our work has become much easier now.”
Dr Milan Rawal, another doctor at the hospital, says the hospital now caters to patients of all illnesses, except those in need of critical care.
“Local residents don’t have to go out of the district to receive specialist health services these days,” Rawal said.
In the past, Bajhang residents had to go to private health institutions and pay exorbitant prices to get services. There are over 20 medical clinics in Chainpur, the district headquarters of Bajhang.
But people these days have started going to the District Hospital for treatment, says Ashok Malla, a medical operator in Chainpur. “The number of patients going to private clinics has decreased because of the reform in services at the district hospital,” Malla said.
According to Dr Okheda, the hospital administration is also taking initiatives to establish a two-bed ICU Unit.
“We are winning the trust of service seekers. That is why the number of patients to the hospital has been increasing of late,” he said.