Achham's Bayalpata Hospital boon for underserved communities

BAJURA: Bayalpata Hospital in Achham district has turned out to be a blessing for underserved communities living in the hilly districts of mid-western Nepal, in recent times.

The hospital —  established ten years ago in coordination with Health Ministry and Nyaya Health Nepal, a non government organisation (NGO) and in cooperation with an American organisation, Possible — has been treating underserved people living in the region to improve quality of healthcare.

52-year-old Ambar Bista of Sanfebagar Municipality-13 in Achham district visited the hospital with severe abdomen pain. Dr Bikash Gauchan, Director of Medical Education, said Bista was diagnosed with two holes in his small intestine and required surgery to prevent infection and save his life.

"We tried to refer Bista to other hospitals outside the district as he required major surgery with ICU (Intensive Care Unit) service. But his relatives declined to take him outside the district citing financial problem. He had a 50 per cent chance of survival after operation, and had he been taken home he would have died within a week," Dr Gauchan added.

It would have cost them around Rs 400,000 for his surgery at other hospitals in Nepalgunj or Kathmandu.

With the guarantee provided by ward chair Sagar Babali, the hospital operated Bista free of cost. Fortunately, his surgery was a success, after which he has been recuperating at the hospital.

Kokila Bista, wife of Ambar said, "We did not have money to take him outside the district for further treatment. We did not have to spend a single penny as he was treated here."

Similarly, the hospital has also performed other major and costly surgeries like hip replacement surgery, uterus removal surgery among others, said Dr Gauchan, adding that patients belonging to low economic background have been receiving such services free of cost at the hospital.

The hospital does not charge admission fee and treatment cost, and also provides free food to the admitted patient. Likewise, the hospital is providing 240 types of medicines free of cost to the patients.

Similarly, the hospital is also providing health education on lab, x-ray, operation, ultrasound among others. Over 68 health workers are based in the hospital and providing their services.

At least 90,000 people, mostly from Achham, Bajura, Bajhang, Doti, Humla, Mugu and Kalikot visit this 50-bed health facility for treatment annually.