Kathmandu, September 3

Lack of consultant doctors at Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku, has hit patients hard.

Due to lack of doctors, many patients visiting the hospital are being referred to other hospitals.

Rup Narayan Khatiwada, chief administrative officer of STIDH, informed that various posts for consultant doctors and medical officers were vacant at the hospital.

STIDH requires nine consultant doctors, but it has only three consultant doctors at present. In the same way, the hospital has the quota for 11 medical officers, but four posts of medical officers are still vacant. Of the seven medical officers working at the hospital, five are out of the country for further studies, while the remaining two medical officers are preparing for MD, informed Khatiwada.

“We cannot stop doctors from going for further studies as the Ministry of Health and Population itself awards scholarships to government doctors for further studies,” he said, adding, “The hospital has been managing with limited human resources. In the absence of doctors, we have no other option nut to refer patients to other hospitals.”

Likewise, there is only one 11th level doctor. There are altogether 123 staffers at the hospital, including administrative staffers, sweepers and cleaners. The hospital has quota for a total of 167 staffers. “We have been requesting the Ministry of Health to fill the vacant posts as soon as possible to provide quality health services to people, but in vain.”

“Considering the increasing flow of patients at the hospital, we have informally started ICU service without an anaesthesiologist. Bir Hospital is providing us an anaesthesiologist for emergency cases,” said Khatiwada.

“The government is not at all concerned about sensitive issues such as providing health services to people. Operating an ICU without skilled human resources and specialists can be fatal for patients,” said Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, coordinator of clinical research unit.