GAIGHAT: The expectant mothers arriving at the District Hospital, Udayapur are dumbfounded when they are told that the hospital has no obstetricians and no maternity service available for the past two months.

The women in labour are forced to spend thousands of rupees to go to Biratnagar and Dharan for the delivery of babies and necessary surgical operations.

Amit Kumar Thakur, an obstetrician, left for Kathmandu after his contract service came to an end two months ago in the hospital. Over 20 expectant mothers seeking maternity services are turned away on a daily basis by the hospital, hospital employees' said.

"I had been visiting the district hospital for regular checkup since my wife became pregnant, but when the doctor left two months ago, I was compelled to seek service at the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan," said Raman Dev Chaudhary of Triyuga Municipality-7.

Khamba Bahadur Magar of Khanbu-6 relates similar story. "I have been forced to spend thousands to transport my daughter-in-law by ambulance to Koshi Hospital for a surgery," Magar confided.

District Hospital Udayapur Administrative Official, Birkha Bahadur Khatri conceded that the hospital has been operating without an obstetrician.