Hospital strike on, medical services hit

Kathmandu, May 26:

Medical services across the country were affected today as hospitals and nursing homes halted services, except emergency sections, as part of their three-day strike.

“There are other ways to protest; the patients’ rights are being taken away by the hospitals,” said one Ram Kumar Bantawa, who had brought his ailing mother at the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the Maternity Hospital.

The doctors on the other hand, say they have been providing services to all patients who turned up.

Most hospitals treated the patients in the emergency ward. Those in need of urgent medical attention were treated even in the Maternity Hospital’s emergency section.

“We provided the services by expanding the emergency units,” said Dhruba Rimal, president of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) Union. “Almost all the patients who showed up were provided treatment today,” he said. In the TUTH, a makeshift emergency ward was made at the OPD ticket counter due to the flow of patients.

Dr Sudha Sharma, chairperson of the Nepal Medical Association (NMA), said the strike is likely to end tomorrow. It, however, depends on the developments regarding action against the culprits who vandalised hospitals and attacked doctors and assurance of security for medical professionals, she said.

She added the NMA is constantly in touch with the home minister and demanding action against the culprits.