Bayalpata Hospital beset by financial woesEstablished in 2008, the Sanfebagar-based hospital provides specialist service free of cost.
Bayalpata Hospital, a major health institution providing services to the people of several hill districts in Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces, is reeling under financial problems.
The budget uncertainty has plagued the Sanfebagar-based hospital that provides specialist service free of cost. “It is still not clear which governments provide the budgets and the total amounts even after one and half months of the commencement of the current fiscal year,” said Dr Mandip Pathak, chief at the hospital. “The hospital should receive the first tranche of the budget as of now. The health services have been affected due to budget uncertainty.” He said the hospital has been unable to procure medicines and provide salaries to the hospital staff due to budget shortage.
According to Pathak, around Rs220 million is required to operate the hospital in a year. The Sudurpaschim Province government had allocated Rs90 million budget to Bayalpata Hospital in the last fiscal year 2022-23. The hospital managed the remaining amounts from foreign donors, local government and other organisations. Of late, foreign donors have stopped providing financial support to the hospital.
The red book of Sudurpaschim Province has not included Bayalpata Hospital in the current fiscal year. “We heard that discussions are going on whether the budget should be provided through provincial health directorate like before or through Sanphebagar Municipality,” said Pathak, urging the authorities concerned to allocate budget to the hospital at the earliest.
Some local units in Achham, Bajura and Doti districts have been providing financial support to Bayalpata Hospital. Sanphebagar Municipality has decided to issue Rs10 million budget to the hospital in the current fiscal year. Similarly, Bannigadhi Jayagadh Rural Municipality allocates Rs 1million while Mangalsen and Kamalbazaar municipalities of Achham district allocate Rs500,000 each. But the hospital is yet to receive the budget as of now.
The hospital management complains that it cannot utilise the budgets since the amounts are allocated nearly at the end of the fiscal year. “Among the total amount of budgets that the provincial government issued last year, the hospital received Rs40 million timely. Remaining 50 million budgets were provided in the last month of the fiscal year 2022-23,” Pathak said.
Bayalpata Hospital was established in 2008 by Nyaya Health Nepal and Possible International Non Government Organization based in New York, USA. Thousands of people from Achham, Bajura and Doti of Sudurpaschim Province and Dolpa, Mugu, Kalikot, Dailekh district of Karnali Province also visit the hospital for health services.
The hospital informed that around 100,000 patients visit the hospital in a year for the health services. The health institution is renowned for the orthopaedic treatment in Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces. “Some orthopaedic patients from Kailali and Kanchanpur also visit Bayalpata Hospital for treatment,” said Pathak, an orthopaedic specialist. He said that many orthopaedic patients could not get timely treatment as he had to engage in managing the budget for the hospital rather than focusing on the patients’ treatment.
Sanphebagar Municipality assures the hospital to resolve the financial crisis. “We are committed to provide support to the hospital. We allocated Rs10 million budget last year and decided to provide the same amount in the current fiscal year as well. The budget will be dispersed soon,” said mayor Rajendra Kunwar. According to him, the municipality has urged the provincial government to provide at least Rs100 million budget to Bayalpata Hospital.