Take Care Of Nation’s Health

D.M. Thapa

It was good to read a report in The Rising Nepal where Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said there should be no serious concern about his health. However before, it was disheartening to hear that he had been admitted to the TU Teaching Hospital for treatment. He is already a chronic ailing man and thus many people were saddened by this news.
If nothing else, Prime Minister Oli has been trying to do something for the nation, not by only forging good relations between the nation’s two giant neighbours, China and India, but also by introducing new schemes which will benefit the general people. It is another thing that he has been facing opposition from other leaders within his party and also other opposing parties.

This author prays that the PM will be hale and hearty by the time this article is published and he will resiliently start on the development projects he has initiated. Naturally he needs good advisors and also efficient ministers and bureaucrats to help him. Just opposing him by the opposition parties or the media is like putting obstacles in the ambitious plans he has for the nation.
I have seen a lot of prime ministers during my stint as a writer, and I have heard and read how corrupt most of them were when they were in power. Not only them, but their spouses, close kith and kin and also their aides were involved in massive corruption and many became millionaires overnight. So, though Oli is no close friend of mine, I admire him because there is no even a whisper of an corruption he is involved in. Most of his ministers also seem clean and doing their work as any honest person should do. This is a huge plus point for Prime Minister Oli. So, his being sick is a sad news.
But another positive thing he has done is going for treatment at a local government hospital. I have been to this hospital myself and I found the service very poor, though the Prime Minister must have been given a VVIP treatment. The nurses were very efficient, but the doctors were very amateur and not as effective as they should have been.
So for a while let us talk of the medical services in Nepal as well. The Bir Hospital is considered the oldest hospital of the country. Yes, there are many senior doctors still there, but they pay more attention to their own private clinics or hospitals. It was also shameful to read in the media outlets that two comedians had to start a campaign to clean up and paint this Hospital. What were the government and the Hospital authorities doing? Wasn’t it their job to do this basic need of the oldest hospital of the country?
The private hospitals have their own story to tell. Most of the senior doctors are attached to this hospital or that. They charge enormous amounts of money to the patients, but the service is very poor. One of the most expensive hospitals of the country even saw a helicopter fall off its roof while trying to take some medical staff for an emergency check in a different part of the country. In fact this hospital also saw structural damage during the earthquake of 2015. If the condition of such expensive hospitals and also foreign funded government hospitals are so bleak and weak, one can imagine what the condition of hospitals in the districts and health clinics in remote areas are like.
So as a sick man, though he received VVIP treatment, which he deserves, Prime Minister Oli should also think about the sick and poor in different areas of the country and resolve to do something for them. Just doctors staging strikes is not enough, they must serve the poor and needy first and the focus should be in the rural areas, not Kathmandu alone. Otherwise why did they take the oath to serve the sick and needy in the first place?
Now to come to our own revolutionary Deputy Prime Minister Upendra Yadav, who is also looking after the Health Ministry, how many hospitals has he visited across the country or how many health posts has he seen in the remote corners of the country? Has he made any plans for developing such hospitals and health posts? There must be a clear cut policy on doctors and nurses having to compulsorily serve in remote areas before getting their registrations. But our so-called free media never report on such social problems; they only indulge in what their foreign masters say as they belong to one foreign activist party or the other and do as they are told to do.
There is no doubt I have my sympathies for the doctors and nurses working in difficult conditions even in Kathmandu, forget about those who are working in rural areas. Now the aim of most professionals is to go abroad, but many are doing humanitarian services here as well. I wish them well, whether they work here or in foreign countries.
But to come back to where we started, I wish Prime Minister Oli will be able to accomplish the ambitious tasks he has promised to fulfil during his tenure. But by being a patient here in a government hospital himself, though he was given a VVIP treatment, he must not forget the plight of the ordinary people who flock these hospitals in thousands every day. He should also think about their problems, especially financial ones. Likewise, the owners of private hospitals should also consider the constraints of the less privileged individuals. An ill person is an ill person, whether rich or poor, they should be given equal treatment and not treat them according to the money they have or the high positions they hold.

We are happy to know that Prime Minister Oli is recovering rapidly and we are also happy he chose a local government hospital to be treated in. At the same time, once more we would like to remind not only the Prime Minister, but the entire government team to think about the health problems of the poor people in the country and also those who don’t have access to medical facilities in remote areas. This is a message I want to send to the so-called rights activists and also to the free media to do something about. That would be a huge contribution to the nation rather than blowing the trumpets of foreign powers which fund them. Take care of the health of the nation first.


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