Few health experts in rural areas: Minister

Kathmandu, December 4:

Minister for Health and Population Giriraj Mani Pokharel today stressed the need of increasing the number of general medical practitioners — who provide integrated healthcare services — to enhance health services in rural parts of the country.

Pokharel said, “The number of general medical practitioners should be increased in rural hospitals, as patients there cannot afford private treatment.”

“The government is ready to provide necessary support. We are also bringing out some new regulations in this regard,” Pokharel said, addressing a conference of General Practitioners’ Association of Nepal (GPAN) here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Chop Lal Bhusal, president of the Nepal Medical Association, said, “In rural parts of the country, health sector is

struggling to show its existence. The government needs to encourage the general practitioners by offering them more incentives,” he added.

The general practitioners provide preventive and basic medical care to patients and also provide obstetrics, surgical and orthopaedics and emergency life saving health-care services.

“The general practitioners need to be given

more recognition and facilities in the future, as they are the backbone of health care system,” said Dr Pratap N Prasad, president elect, GPAN.

A total of 135 general practitioners have already been trained in the country and there is a dire need to increase their number, Prasad added.

Specialists from India, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Nepal are taking part in the two-day conference.