Patan Hospital to have 140-bed maternity ward

Lalitpur, August 23:

US family offers to help construct it.

Patan Hospital is constructing a new 140-bed maternity ward to make it the largest hospital in the country in terms of the number of beds available. The construction work is scheduled to begin from December and expected to finish within two-and-a-half year. The Simons family of the New York City agreed to provide funding for a major addition to the hospital with 140 beds for obstetrics /gynaecology (Ob/Gynae) and nursery in memory of their son Nick Simons, who had once visited Nepal. The Simons family would provide $2 million for the construction of the new maternity ward. “This will make room for medicine and surgery ward to expand too. The beds in the surgical ward and medical wards will be doubled from the current 42 and 45 beds respectively,” Dr Mark Zimmerman, medical director at the hospital, said. At present 85 beds are being used for Ob/Gynae ward.

A total of 19,217 Ob/Gynae cases were registered in the hospital in 2004 out of which 8,021 cases for obstetrics, 1,450 cases for Gynaecology, and 7,360 were delivery cases. The hospital provides health care to over 300,000 patients annually. Currently it has 320 beds with active ambulatory outpatient and emergency services. According to Dr Zimmerman, the Simons had agreed to build the maternity ward to serve the women of Nepal in memory of their son Nick Simons whose last wish was to start a medical school project in Nepal. Nick was drowned while swimming in Bali of Indonesia in 2003. “The parents —Jim and Marilyn Simons — wanted to start a health project to help needy and when they visited Patan Hospital they saw six would-be mothers waiting in the hall due to the lack of sufficient beds. The situation inspired the Simons to help the hospital,” said Dr Zimmerman.

Besides, the Simons have agreed to fund another big project — Nick Simons Institute — in Nepal. Meanwhile, the hospital is expanding its private clinic from the next month to meet the resources to serve the poor patients coming to the hospital. “At present there are two rooms, but we are adding five more clinics from the next month,” said Dr Zimmerman. The government provides subsidy of only Rs 13 lakh per year to the hospital. “The fund generated from those who can afford would be used to cover the expenses of the hospital and to provide the services to the poor,” said Dr Zimmerman. The hospital was established in 1982 and is operated under the governance of an independent joint board of the United Mission to Nepal (UMN), the community and the Ministry of Health.