Some foreign medics to leave country

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 10, 2015-

Two weeks after the Great Earthquake, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has begun preparations to send back most of the foreign medical teams that are currently providing medical care in the country.

According to the MoHP, there are 107 international medical teams comprising 1,019 doctors and specialists in the country.

In order to get the local doctors ready to take over, the MoHP has identified the hospitals in the six districts in which the doctors will work. Doctors and medics from the Patan Academy of Health Sciences will be stationed in Gorkha, while the National Academy of Medical Sciences, Bir Hospital, will send its medical team to Dhadging and Dolakha.

Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital will deploy its team to Sindhupalchok, while Lumbini Zonal Hospital will be responsible for imparting health services in Rasuwa. Okhaldhunga and Sindhuli, will be BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences’ responsibility, while the decision is yet to be made regarding who will take care of Nuwakot.

The MoHP has stated that the government will provide food and a place to stay for these teams. “Every aspect of clinical care in the districts will be overseen by these health institutions,” said Dr Guna Raj Lohani, spokesperson of MoHP. 

In the wake of the earthquake, Nepal drew medical teams from across the globe. The Canadian Medical Assistance Teams from Canada, Good Neighbors International from South Korea, Landsaid from Germany and Medcins Sans Frontiers from France have been working in Gorkha district.

Similarly, in Sindhupalchok, the Korean Red Cross from South Korea, JICA from Japan, Crises Relief from Singapore and ISRAAID from Israel, among others, have been working on the ground.

Dr Lohani said that some of the foreign medical teams stayed in the country for a day, while there are others who want to be here six months and longer.

The situation report from the MoHP on Saturday states that China 3, from China, has sought permission from the government to remain in the country for nine months, while organisations like the Qatar Red Crescent and the Norwegian Red Cross Society, among others, have sought permission work here for around three to four months.

“We will station those staying for longer periods at stations in accordance with the needs of the communities that need them,” said Dr Lohani. “But we will soon replace these teams with our own.”

The government has classified the international medical teams into three categories: type 1, 2 and 3. Type 1 medical teams can provide basic health services, while type 2 teams can provide more intensive hospital care. Similarly, type 3 foreign medical teams are the best equipped teams, who can provide continued care for at least a couple of months. 

Published: 11-05-2015 08:03

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