200-bed Trauma Centre at Bir Hospital soon

Renu Kshetry

Kathmandu, July 24:

A Trauma Centre will be constructed at the Bir Hospital in the next few months. The nation’s oldest hospital, with 426 beds in general service, will celebrate its 116th anniversary on July 27. The Trauma Centre will be an eight-storey building accommodating 200 beds and five operation theatres which will be used for triage — a medical process of quickly examining sick or injured people who arrive in huge numbers during disasters or accidents who will then be referred to respective departments for further treatment. Stressing the need for expanding the present 50-bed emergency service at the hospital, Prof Dr Damodar Prasad Pokhrel, medical superintendent of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) at Bir Hospital, said the 50-bed facility cannot cater to the need which might arise during disasters or accidents when mass casualties occur. “Kathmandu Valley is prone to earthquake hazards and the Terai is vulnerable to flood which might result in mass casualties.

It is therefore, very necessary that the quality of the oldest and largest hospital, which had been catering to the need of poor and needy people for more than a century, be improved,” said Dr Pokhrel. “All the procedures, including clearing plot of land and others for construction of the centre, are complete and if everything goes as planned we are hopeful that the Trauma

Centre will be ready within a few months’ time,” he said. India and Nepal had on August 2003 signed a MoU regarding construction of the centre but the project could not be launched due to various reasons. Dr Pokhrel said there is another plan to increase the 3-bed Intensive Care Unit facility, which is at present combined with the Critical Care Unit, to 15.

He said Bir Hospital will provide the free health services to the poor and needy people as long as it can sustain. There is a further plan to establish a Corporate Hospital on the northern side of the Bir Hospital main building. “This Corporate Hospital facility will be equipped with all the modern medical equipment and the service rendered there will be of international quality. We will use our own manpower and the fund raised from the facility will be used for treatment of the needy patients,” he said.