Kina Jane Bir Hospital? Nursing Home Ma Gaya Hunacha ni?

This has been my first ever visit to the oldest Hospital in Nepal,Bir Hospital, established in 1889 after the name of one of  the Rana Prime Minister of Nepal, Bir Shumsher. I wanted to know more about this hospital and services it is offering to people. For that, it would be unfair on my part if I discussed about Bir Hospital without visiting the place.
Bir Hospital is the largest referral hospital in Nepal with a bed capacity of 535 patients. The Rana dynasty successfully launched it in 1889 with a dream of providing the basic health care in Nepal.
Located near a busy road in the city centre, it offers free diagnosis to the ailing Nepalese people.  A sign board says “No Horn Please “, and I find it as “ Yes Horn Please “ all around the hospital with repeated blare of car horns.
India  has on several occasions, supported this hospital by providing funds for the extension. Recently, they have successfully constructed a new segment of the hospital.
“Kina jane Bir Hospital? Nursing home ma gaya hunacha ni?” (Why are you going to Bir Hospital? Nursing homes are better? ) :  A typical response from many people. Those that have enough money do not even consider this hospital fit for regular check up. They have reduced this hospital for the poor.
The other criticism that Bir Hospital gets from the average common people is that it is dirty and unclean. People have this unexplainable fear that they will get any disease if they visit this hospital.
This is what I have to say about Bir Hospital:
  • As a medical student, I found Bir hospital to be an epitome for clinical knowledge. Patients from different classes come here with a variety of problems and it has a wide range of departments. One of those that caught my eyes was the Hemophilia centre (It’s a blood coagulation disorder). I just glared at the luck of those doctors who have so wide clinical exposure. Why is there criticism for doctors from there, when they have so much exposure and practice?
  • The second criticism that most people complain is about the tidiness and well-being of the environment of the hospital. When you go to a hospital, do you want your surroundings to be full of flowers and something that pleases your olfactory senses? Or you want your diagnosis to be right and accurate and so that you get treatment early? I don’t see why people go for external features of the hospital when the main attraction of a hospital is made the doctors that are present there. I actually found Bir Hospital to be clean and tidy and fit for patients to come and get there diagnosis done.
  • There is no proper line system in Bir Hospital. Once people get there History/ registration book, they are referred by the people who stay in the counter booth to the respective Out Patient Departments. I was referred to the ENT Department.  I got dazzled there as patients coordinated their own line and it was a matter of shifting seats to the door next to the doctors. Many people get away early. You have to manage your own queue in the hospital.
  • Many people take things for granted. The services that Bir Hospital gives, for instance getting your diagnosis done for free of charge is a big thing. Can you expect an engineer to diagnose your illness if you don’t consider the value of the time of the doctor?
  • There are different religious groups active in the hospital that help the poor to afford for medical investigations. They have subsided the rates of some of the investigations.
  • The central library in Bir Hospital provides the latest medical books and journals. I found  several computer stations for one to stay updated on the latest meds. Med students registered under NMA are only allowed to enter the library
  • Bir Hospital does not have an official web page. But the one that appears on the google search page is the one that is run by senior residents for the interns. Also the site has some useful advices about the FAQ of the test entrance and also it offers some few useful links on different subjects.

I don’t know why Nepalese Media only makes time to focus on the negative happenings about any hospital in Nepal. Focusing on how Bir Hospital has expanded over the years and how It has grown as a hospital for the general people to the hospital for the poor only.

Bir hospital will never fail to attract people from different segments of Nepal; people will be referred to get  treatment done there.  We are a poor nation, we are an emerging nation, people should utilize the facilities without shame and creating unnecessary scene in the hospital just because someone gets a preconceived notions about any disease. As a citizen of an emerging nation, I do not expect a five star health care institute , I am content with what Bir Hospital has to offer,  are you as well?