KATHMANDU, Aug 16: Rajmati Devi, 36, the wife of Ramji Kushwaha of Kaliya, Bara is in real trouble as she is fast running out of the money she brought for the treatment of her husband´s spinal problem.
The couple, who came to the hospital five days ago, complain that all their money has been used up even before any treatment.
They are waiting for the end of a prolonged strike called by doctors at Tribhuvan University Teaching hospital (TUTH).
Rajmati appeared busy with her mobile phone Thursday morning, calling up relatives to seek out loans for the treatment of her husband. He lay on the floor before the ticket counter.
She said that she and her husband had passed three nights on the floor at the ticket counter as they do not have money to pay for a room. “In the evening the hospital guards asks us to leave but we have nowhere to go,” she said.
Kushwah, a laborer who fell off a three-storey building three months ago, has spinal injuries and doctors at Birgunj Medical College referred him to TUTH. A pipe has been inserted in his bladder for urination.
Rajmati said they have already spent a lot of money on his treatment and taken a Rs 10,000 loan to come to Kathmandu.
Parmananda Yadav, 55, a diabetic patient from Mulhariya-6 in Bara, has decided to return home by night bus as he has only enough money left for a bus ticket home. “All the money I brought for my treatment is finished and I only have money left for a ticket home," he complained.
He said there is swelling in his body and he has a problem breathing. Doctors at the regional hospital had told him to go to Kathmandu for further testing.
Nara Bahadur Majhi, 55, of Khimti-2 in Ramechhap said he was to undergo surgery on Tuesday but due to the strike at the hospital he does not know the next date for the operation. He said it is difficult to carry about an urine bag, as he has been doing for the past four months. Majhi´s urinary track was damaged in an accident.
“Shyama Mandal, 35, of Mirchaya, who comes to the hospital for the treatment of her daughter Shova´s headache, has been awaiting the end of the strike since the past three days.
Mandal, who has come to the capital for the first time, said she has brought along two fellow villagers as she does not know about anything in Kathmandu. I spent Rs 2,800 just on the bus fare to Kathmandu. Hotel food is so costly and I have to feed them also,” she said. She complained that the ongoing strike at the hospital has hit her badly.
The hospital has remained closed since the past four days after Dr Govinda KC, senior professor at the Institute of Medicine (IoM), started a fast-unto-death. Doctors at the hospital stopped their work, citing a lack of proper environment. More than 2,000 patients normally receive treatment there every day. Hundreds of patients are now being compelled to turn back.
Meanwhile, the condition of Dr KC is worsening. Dr Prem Khadga, co-coordinator of a medical team that is looking after Dr KC, said that if he does not end his fast immediately, organs like the kidney and heart might become damaged.
“Dr KC has refused to take a saline drip or anything from the mouth. He is still conscious. Doctors are preparing to intervene if he loses unconscious,” said Chairman of University Teachers´ Association at Maharajgunj Campus, Professor Dinesh Bikarm Pokhrel.
With TU appointing Dr Dharmakanta Baskota, professor at the ENT Department, as acting Dean at Institute of Medicine (IoM), Dr KC has continued his fast. Dr KC resumed his fast-unto-death on Monday, demanding merit based recruitment to vacant posts and implementation of a probe committee report that implicates the then officials at IOM in several irregularities.