Nepal | September 16, 2019

Promoting child health care

Sabitri Dhakal

Kathmandu, August 5

Design-related work for construction of a 100-bed children’s multi-specialty hospital, Kathmandu Institute of Child Health is set to start soon.

Ground work for construction of the hospital has been going on after the government decided to provide land for the children’s hospital.

An initiative for child health care, construction of the multi-specialty comprehensive hospital will help 12 million Nepali children across the country to get systematic health care at low cost. After construction of the multi-specialty hospital in Kathmandu, a 50-bed children’s hospital will be opened in each province, said Bhagwan Koirala, senior cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon who is also chairman of KIOCH.

These health centres will provide health services in paediatric oncology, cardiology, child psychiatry and nephrology, among other specialised health services, for children.

The hospital will also have a referral network. It will help to save time and human resources. We will be solving many problems related to health care.

At present, a patient goes to a district hospital and from there comes to a zonal hospital and then to the centre without any referral guidance. The same thing gets duplicated again and again. We will avoid that duplication in the care pattern. There is huge need in child care in the country, added Koirala.

Unless we have something in Kathmandu it is not possible to support other centres with technology and human resources. Our idea is to have one multi-specialty comprehensive hospital in Kathmandu first because that will give us a resource centre. Based on this, we would like to support the peripheral centres in six other provinces. The aim of setting up the hospitals is to give more specialised health services, said Koirala.

Construction of such multi-specialty children’s hospital will also help keep the paediatricians moving all across the country. More than 90 per cent of paediaticians are concentrated in Province 3. We will have them in Kathmandu as a base, but also rotate them through the provinces, he said.

The government had decided to provide 41 ropani land in Ward No 7 of Budhanilkantha Municipality for construction of the hospital. “The government has decided to give us land. It confirms that they trust us. We are committed and there is no stepping back. We will now be working on the design and construction of the hospital,” said Koirala.

Though the government has decided to give land on lease, fundraising is necessary for construction of the hospital. The project aims to raise two billion rupees for construction of the hospital.

“It will be difficult as we need a lot of money, so a lot of fund raising should be done. It is a public property. It’s a non-profit institution so it may be of less interest to private sectors. We are aware of this,” the surgeon added. “We are talking to different people for fundraising both inside and outside Nepal. We are also talking with experts in and out of Nepal for training of paediatricians, he said.

Koirala also said that if the project can be outsourced by the government for example through insurance schemes and various other schemes, it will be easy to provide free health services for patients. We could deliver the care at low cost or for free, added Koirala.

Anyone can approach the website to help raise funds for the children’s hospital.

A version of this article appears in print on August 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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