Patients suffer as bandh hits healthcare facilities in capital

KATHMANDU: Navaraj Giri, originally from Nuwakot, who admitted his father to Bir Hospital two days back, is having a tough time going from one place to another due to the three-day general strike called by the Unified CPN-Maoist.

Giri, who is staying at a lodge in Kalanki, said it took him around an hour to reach the hospital today. "It's hard walking up and down everyday," he shared. "Political parties are not in favour of common people," he vented his ire. There is nobody else to take care of his ill father.

He said the frequent bandhs called by political parties on one pretext or another had created hardships for the people.

Most hospitals in the capital recorded fewer patients today. Administrators at the health facilities said the attendance of the doctors and nurses had also been hit by the bandh.

Gopal Pokhrel, under secretary, Bir Hospital, said the number of patients visiting the hospital in the past two days was nominal, compared to that on normal days. "We have arranged for the food and accommodation of all doctors and nurses on assignment at the hospital," said Pokhrel. The inflow of patients has gone down even at the emergency ward.

Talking to The Himalayan Times, Chandra Kumar Rai, chief administrator, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), said all operations scheduled between Sunday and Tuesday had been postponed. The hospital, however, has asked all the doctors and nurses to attend their duty, providing transportation for all non-resident staffers. Only 400 patients visited the TUTH today, compared to 1,300 on a normal day.

Dil Bahadur Bhandari, administrator, Patan Hospital, said staffers living quite far away from the hospital were, normally, absent today. Only about 400 patients visited the hospital today, in stead of 900 on a normal day.