ICU, VIP cabin in Lumbini hospital gather dust

Rupandehi, November 5:

The Lumbini Zonal Hospital management has not been able to open the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the VIP Cabin to patients after they were constructed with the help of local residents.

A local, Ram Lal Acharya, of Butwal-11 had constructed the ICU a decade ago at a cost of Rs 0.8 million. Though Acharya is no more now, his family members are concerned over the hospital authorities’ inability to open the unit for the public.

An industrialist from Butwal, Bharat Kumar Pradhan, and Warrant Officer, Cham Bahadur Kunwar, had provided Rs 0.45 million for the construction of the two-room VIP Cabin in 2001. According to a report released by the Transparency International Nepal Associate Group recently, the hospital is not being able to mobilise its resources properly though it has adequate sources of income.

“People are not being able to use the facilities as the hospital administration has not been able to formulate proper policies and come up with programmes for the proper use of its property and funds”, secretary of the group, Bimal Bahadur Shakya, said.

Chief of the Medical Ward of the hospital, Dr Lokendra Dev Bhatta, said the ICU could be operational once an Eco-Cardiography Machine, four doctors and 16 nurses are arranged.

Chairman of the Hospital Development Committee, Babu Ram Bhattarai, too, said lack of skilled manpower, and not lack of funds or equipment, is the main reason why the hospital is not able to open the facilities to the public.

“Many individuals and organisations in Butwal are willing to provide help for the operation of the ICU”, Bhattarai said, adding: “Eighty per cent of the required equipment has been bought.”

He said though it had been decided that the VIP Cabin would be opened to the public as a ‘Deluxe Cabin’, the plan is being delayed due to lack of manpower.

A waiting room on the hospital premises that was constructed in 1998 by a contractor of the Health Ministry is also not being utilised as it has not been handed over to the hospital administration yet.