Patients compelled to wait for months for surgery

  • Eight surgeons at Gangalal hospital conduct up to six surgeries a day

Kathmandu, October 10

With increased number of patients visiting Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center in Kathmandu every day, surgery dates have been booked till March next year.

Suresh Rai, 29, a heart patient, from Dharan has been waiting for surgery. According to his wife Sujata, the doctors have advised him to wait until his high fever is under control.

“The doctors have told us that my husband developed heart infection due to his thyroid problem and some viral infection. We came to this hospital for treatment two months ago, but he is still suffering from fever,” she said, adding that the couple were uncertain if he would get to undergo surgery for his heart problem.

According to Bimal Upreti, chief of the Economic Administration section of the hospital, the heath facility provides free heart surgery service to children, the elderly and people from marginalised communities and that could be one reason why the number of patients at the hospital has ever been increasing.

“Children below the age of 15 years, elderly people above 75 years of age and people from marginalised communities under the recommendation of from their respective districts are provided free treatment including surgery for heart-related complications. Likewise, people of all age-groups are availed of free heart valve surgery at the hospital,” said Upreti.

We only have eight heart surgeons at the hospital who conduct up to six surgeries a day, said he, adding that dates for heart surgery had been booked till March next year. “In emergency cases, we perform operation on patients before their scheduled dates,” he said.

“A total of 1,683 heart patients have undergone surgery at the hospital so far this fiscal. Similarly, 251 patients have received free surgery of heart valve, whereas 787 children below the age of 15 years and 465 people above the age of 75 years and 2,244 people from marginalised communities have received free medical service at the hospital during this period,” the doctor said.