Number of patients down in hospitals

Private hospitals also could not provide health services effectively during COVID crisis


The number of patients at government and private hospitals has decreased amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend has been seen since March 24 after the government enforced nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus infection.

Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital at Maharajgunj is a case in point. It used to provide outpatient services to around 2,500 patients daily before the onset of COVID-19 infection.

Now, it is providing this service to about 1,500 patients on a daily basis.

TUTH Spokesperson Ram Bikram Adhikari said the number of patients coming to hospitals had declined as many patients were staying home instead of coming to the hospital for fear of infection.

TUTH had allocated 100 beds out of its 662 beds for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. It had provided all the services even during the lockdown period.

The hospital had carried out as many as 40 operations daily prior to the COVID-19 infection, and it has been conducting up to 10 operations daily at present.

It had provided regular surgical and gynaecological services to new mothers.

According to Adhikari, TUTH didn’t face any problem in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, thanks to the support provided by various organisations and the government.

Bir Hospital, which has 460 beds, allocated 160 beds for coronavirus infected patients.

Of late, it has slashed the number of beds allocated for COV- ID-19 patients with decrease in the number of patients.

Nursing Director at Bir Hospital, Gomadevi Niraula, said the hospital treated 120 COVID patients at once. “There was a problem providing treatment as health equipment were not found in the market.

The outpatient department of the hospital used to see around 2,000 patients daily before COVID-19. Two hundred patients visited the OPD daily during the infection period and this number is gradually increasing.

It has presently reached around 1,000. Private hospitals also could not operate health services effectively during the COVID-19 period.

Some departments of Grande International Hospital located in Tokha did not witness a single patient during COVID times after patients stopped coming, said General Manager of the hospital, Bikas Man Singh.

Grande Hospital has resumed kidney transplant service, which was stopped following the coronavirus pandemic, from December 20. Before the pandemic, the 200-bed hospital used to provide OPD service to 500 to 700 patients every day.

Now, only 200 to 300 patients visit the hospital every day.

Though private hospitals do not carry out treatment of COV- ID-19 infected people by allocating enough number of beds, Grande International Hospital has been providing treatment with ventilators and ICU service to coronavirus infected people by allocating 54 beds. The hospital has provided treatment to 330 COVID-19 patients so far.

Similarly, surgery cases have also decreased during the coronavirus period. Earlier, the hospital used to carry out surgery of 400 people in a month and now around 100 surgery cases are conducted in a month after the onset of the pandemic.

Singh said some problems had surfaced in treatment as there was lack of health equipment, and it was a compulsion to purchase available health equipment at a high price during the coronavirus period.

With less number of patients visiting hospitals due to COV- ID-19, sale and distribution of health equipment has also decreased.