Lack of ambulance service troubles Baglung folk

- PRAKASH BARAL, BAGLUNG

Oct 7, 2014-

People here have been hit hard owing to the lack of ambulance service in the hilly district as those living in urban areas are forced to shell out their hard earned money on overpriced taxi fares to reach the hospital during times of emergency while villagers have been compelled to carry the patients all the way to the nearest health facilities.

Although the district hospital and zonal hospital cater to an average of 200 patients on a daily basis, only one ambulance is operated by the association of the retired army personnel i the district. In the absence of adequate ambulances, more than 50 percent of the patients that are referred to hospitals in Pokhara are compelled to rely on taxis who demand hefty sums for their services.

Meanwhile, ambulances belonging to various health facilities including the zonal hospital are rotting in garages in want of repairs. The ambulances belonging to the zonal hospital has been lying in the garage after being involved in numerous accidents. According to Medical Superintendent Dr Tarun Poudel, as the centre has done nothing to repair or bear operational expenses, the ambulances the hospital owns have been rendered useless.

Even the ambulances belonging to Painyupata Health Post, Nepal Red Cross Society district branch, Nepal Magar Association, and Galkot Service Community have been rotting in the garages awaiting repair and maintenance. While the ambulance belonging to Burtibang Hospital has been stuck in the hospital itself due to lack of motorable roads “It is only when we arrive at the district headquarters that we get to see an ambulance,” said Gaumaya Shreesh of Ranasikatini-5, stating that in the village they had no alternative other than carry the patients on a stretcher to the nearest health facility. However, even residents of the district headquarters complained of not being able to avail ambulance service. Recalling his ordeal when he had to hire a taxi at night when he was referred to a Pokhara hospital, Dhan Bahadur Pariyar of Baglung-2 said that he barely managed to save his life by hiring a taxi to the hospital by paying a hefty sum during the time.

While the taxis continue to fleece the locals in the absence of ambulance service in the district, concerned authorities remain mum on the matter. The taxis charge as much as Rs 3,000 during the day and Rs 5,000 at night for a one way ride to Pokhara from the district headquarters, while patients from rural areas including Burtibang are forced to pay as much as Rs 10,000 for a one way ride to Pokhara or Butwal.

 

Published: 08-10-2014 09:37

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