KATHMANDU: (This) hospital always has its doors open and unlocked for (the) ill, injured and mothers-to-be… This quote scribbled on the wall of Bir Hospital is loosing its appeal in the true sense of the term. Nabin Kumar Khadka, a resident of Rolpa has a harrowing experience to share about Bir Hospital.

“I have waited in vain for three weeks to get my spinal chord operated,” he said, holding back his tears.

Khadka, who is now living in a hotel room, is already running out of money to meet his daily expenses in Kathmandu. And he does not know how long it will take him to get an appointment with the surgeon.

The Interim Constitution, 2007 states, “Every citizen shall have the right to basic health service free of cost from the state as provided in the law.” But the patients at the Bir Hospital say they

are not getting treatment even though they are ready to pay for it.

The doctors in the hospital have brazenly flouted the Essential Service Act by ignoring the plight of the poor and hapless patients. “We tried to communicate with the office bearers of the National Academy of Medical Science about our problem but they asked us to seek the solution from the Ministry of Health and Population,” said Khadka.

Khadka is not the lonely case deprived of treatment. Kalpana Ghimire, who hails from Arghakhanchi and needing urgent medical attention, has similarly been deprived. She was to undergo head surgery on January 5, but the doctors’ strike postponed her operation. She has been waiting for a new date from her surgeon. “Waiting for a new date, Kalpana’s condition may worsen,” Jeev Lal Bhusal, her caretaker, said.

Rajendra Khadka of Sindhupalchowk, a cancer patient, said his doctor had recommended him to get his cancerous right leg operated. The date for the operation expired on January 6. The doctors’ room was still locked today.