Bharatpur Cancer Hospital in dire straits- The himalayantimes News
BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Bharatpur, once known as a model health facility across Asia, has been reeling under acute financial crunch in Chitwan of late.
According to sources, it started to face financial crunch due to growing expense and dwindling budget every year. As the government’s plan to operate the hospital along with another health facility with the budget issued from the health tax fund act of 1994 failed to materialise, the health facility began to face crisis due to inadequate budget allocation.
The hospital, which was established with the aim of providing cancer treatment, prevention, awareness and conducting research on the disease, has hardly been providing treatment at present. Dej Kumar Gautam, Deputy Director of the health facility, said that Rs 330.1 million budget was issued in the fiscal 2011/12, Rs 334.6 million in the fiscal 2012/13, Rs 294 million in the fiscal 20113/14 and Rs 245 million in the fiscal 2014/15. As the health facility has not increased internal
charges for services, its income has not increased. The health facility earns around Rs 100 million from services every year, whereas the expense of the health facility is around Rs 500 million a year, said Gautam. “As we could not run the hospital with the allocated budget and internal income, we have spent Rs 280 million collected in the employee’s welfare fund, gratuity fund, health treatment fund, among others for the past two years,” said Gautam. According to him, they have run out of budget and failed to pay two months’ salary to employees. They are also yet to clear all the bills of various items purchased in the past one year. According to him, the health facility has not received any grant from the government except from the fund. “We have been facing acute budget crunch as the state doesn’t support us saying it is an autonomous institute,” he lamented. Dr Chin Kumar Pun, executive director of the health facility, said they have not been able to purchase necessary instruments due to budget crunch. A CT scan machine, which was damaged three months ago, is yet to be repaired due to financial crunch. Similarly, a mammogram, which was damaged five years ago, has not been repaired yet. This machine detects breast cancer in women.
The patients are compelled to visit other private health facilities due to lack of necessary services and devices in the health facility. Various laboratory devices, radiotherapy device, operation tables, among others, have been collecting dust as they are in a dilapidated condition.
Many of the devices and instruments are more than a decade old, said Pun.
An under-construction structure of the health facility, which was supposed to be completed within three months, remains incomplete due to the acute shortage of budget.The contractors had agreed to complete the building at Rs 600 million, but only half of the said amount has been paid so far. The 194-bed hospital had taken initiatives to add 200 more beds. “Though we have sought budget, our efforts have been in vain,” said Pun. The hospital was established two decades ago with financial aid from China. Around one lakh patients visiting the health facility from both Nepal and India every year.
The Himalayantimes News
Tilak Ram Rimal Chitwan,