Federal govt starts sending doctors to provinces, 34 docs reach Dhangadhi

Kathmandu, April 17

The federal government has initiated the process of dispatching doctors to provinces amidst the potential threat of coronavirus spread in the country.

A group of 34 doctors reached Dhangadhi today to assist in treatment of people suffering from COVID-19 and other illnesses in Sudurpaschim Province. The province has five confirmed COVID-19 cases, while 763 more are under observation in isolation wards.

The doctors dispatched today were second year Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Surgery (MS) students enrolled in National Academy of Medical Sciences. They have been initially deputed for a month.

Their stay may be extended based on need, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.

“The need for additional human resources was felt in the area, which is remote, and where large number of Nepali migrants have returned from India,” said Spokesperson for MoHP Bikash Devkota.

The health ministry has also decided to send doctors to Province 2, which has been exerting pressure on the federal government to let Nepali migrants stranded in India come home.

“There is no option but to let them in,” said Khem Bahadur Karki, a consultant at the health ministry.

“Adding the number of doctors in the province will enhance our ability to fight COVID-19 if the number of cases rises there,” he added.

The health ministry is also making arrangements to send doctors to other provinces.

“Many health centres across the country are short of human resources. This has caused inconvenience to people, especially during the lockdown,” said Karki. He added, “We will send doctors to provinces depending on their need.”

The ministry has asked over 300 doctors to stand by.

“These doctors will provide medical care and offer psychological counselling in provinces,” said Karki.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 18, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.