Health

Monitoring of private health facilities halted for months

  • Provincial health office in Province 3 does not even have the latest health data
- ARJUN POUDEL, Kathmandu

Apr 29, 2019-

Monitoring of private health facilities—hospitals, nursing homes, polyclinics— operating in the districts of Province 3 has been halted since the beginning of the ongoing fiscal year.

Provincial health offices (then district public health offices) in Province 3, responsible for monitoring the health facilities in the districts, said that they have neither the manpower nor the budget to carry out the inspection.

Krishna Bahadur Chand, chief of the provincial health office in Kathmandu, said, “We haven’t been able to inspect the private health facilities operating in the districts this year. We don’t know what those health facilities are doing.”

There are 1,200 health facilities in the 13 districts of Province 3, with over 200 health workers, which come under the jurisdiction of the provincial health office. Health facilities are supposed to provide the details of the treatments they have provided to patients to the provincial health office. 

Some operators of private health facilities have lodged complaints at the provincial health office with regards to their license renewal. The complaints state that the private health facilities haven’t been able to retrieve necessary equipment and reagents from the customs office since their license has not been renewed by the provincial health office. 

According to Chand, his office does not even have the latest public health data, as the data provided by the private and government health facilities have not been updated since the beginning of the ongoing fiscal year. 

Three staff hired on contract basis to update public health data stopped serving after the office failed to renew their contracts.

“Without data, we cannot make plans for the upcoming fiscal year or keep a tab on wrong practices in the health sector,” said Indira Pandey, a public health inspector serving at the provincial health office in Kathmandu. She said other public health offices of Province 3 are also riddled with similar maladies. 

“We haven’t received our salary for the last six months, even internet and telephone lines have been cut off at our offices,  because the bills haven’t been paid,” she complained.

Due to the provincial ministry’s apathy, there are some staff who have been without work since the beginning of the ongoing fiscal year. The then district public health offices were changed to provincial health offices. The federal government had earlier decided to scrap district public health offices and keep only 42 provincial health offices but later decided to keep such offices in all 77 districts.

According to Chand, the Ministry of Social Development of Province 3 allocated the budget and programmes for the provincial health offices on Saturday and that the staff will get their due salaries soon. 

 

Published: 30-04-2019 06:30

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