Patients wait for months on end for a surgery at major hospitals

  • Officials at Bir and Tribhuvan University Teaching hospitals say they lack infrastructure and human resources to provide timely services
- Arjun Poudel, Kathmandu

Mar 10, 2019-

Patients at major government-run hospitals in the Capital like Bir Hospital and Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital have to wait for months even for minor surgeries as the health facilities lack infrastructure and manpower to provide timely services.

Patients having urological problems—kidney stone, prostate problems, among others—have to wait for at least six months for a surgery at Bir Hospital. The urology department of the hospital, which runs an out-patient department clinic thrice a week, said that about 300 patients visit the department each day. Of them 120 need surgery. “At the most, we can do surgery on 20 patients a week,” said Dr Anil Shrestha, chief of the department.

The rest of patients needing surgery have to either wait for months or seek treatment at private health facilities.

Shrestha said that his department had written to the hospital administration, requesting it to arrange for required infrastructure for urology surgery.

“If we get dedicated tables in operation theatre, we can provide surgery service to more patients,” he added.

The Bir Hospital has two kind of operation theatres—special and general. Surgery of special cases—neurological problem, cardiovascular diseases, ENT and kidney transplant—are conducted in the special operation theatre. Removal of kidney stones, prostate operation and others are conducted in the general operation theater.

Dr Bhupendra Basnet, director at the hospital, said that his hospital could not manage dedicated table for a single department, as other departments in the hospital too have to provide surgery services to the patients.

“Sometimes patients also fight with fellow patients due to stress, and our staff have to console them,” said Basnet, adding the hospital also needs to increase the number of beds before increasing the number of surgeries. The hospital has 400 beds, but they are inadequate considering that over 2,000 patients visit the hospital every day. It lacks sufficient beds in post operative wards, and general wards to keep the patients after surgery.

Likewise, dental patients at the hospital have to wait three to four months for treatment. Dr Saili Pradhan, chief of the department, said that the hospital lacks assistant manpower and dental chairs to provide treatment immediately to the patients.

Over 200 dental patients visit the department seeking treatment every day, but 30 percent of the 100 chairs in the department are dysfunctional, according to her.

The situation at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) is no different from that of the Bir. Patients have to wait for months on end for surgery there as well.

“We perform surgery on patients in emergency cases,” Dr Prem Krishna Khadka, director at TUTH, said. “But at times, patients have to wait for more than six months for general surgery.”

TUTH also lacks infrastructure and manpower, according to Dr Khadka.

Professor Jagdish Prasad Agrawal, dean of the Institute of Medicine that runs TUTH, said that the institute is aware of the problems that patients have to endure while visiting the hospital.

Over 4,000 patients from across the country reach the two hospitals every day for treatment due to their low healthcare charges.

Published: 10-03-2019 08:18

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