Load-shedding woes spawn health crisis

Kathmandu, December 29:

Medical facilities have been hit hard due to the ongoing power crisis.

The power cuts have gone up to 12 hours daily from today, crippling services in the hospitals. The private ones have been forced to put a cap on the admission of patients.

The surgery schedule and diagnostic facilities have all gone haywire.

“We cannot operate on in candle light. Besides, the generator cannot withstand the load for 12 hours daily,” said Dr Hari Kishor Shrestha, managing director, Om Hospital.and Research Centre. He is also the treasurer of Association of Private Health Institutions Nepal (APHIN).

“Admission of patients has been restricted since we are in no position to provide proper service. If the problem persists, we may be compelled to stop intake of patients completely,” he reasoned.

Usually, Om Hospital treats around 10,000 people in the Out Patient Department (OPD) every month.

Sagar Shrestha, chief administrator, Kathmandu Model Hospital, too, voiced a similar concern. “When a human body is opened, a small interruption can cause unimaginable damage. We are conducting surgeries in odd hours as and when there is power,” he said.

“The crisis has put patients on ventilators at a greater risk since the device is run by electricity. Batteries are now being used as a stop-gap arrangement,” he added.

Authorities at the state-run and charitable institutions like Bir Hospital, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and Patan Hospital said they were coping with the crisis by rescheduling their work.

“We are flooded with referral cases from nursing homes. The number will rise in the coming days as the hours of power cut go up,” said Laxman Aryal, medical record officer, Bir Hospital.