Kidney patients facing hard time



Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, with hospitals according top priority to treatment of pandemic patients, kidney patients are at the receiving end as they have been deprived of health services.

There are now over 50 kidney patients at BP Koirala Institute of Health and Sciences, who came from different places, and they have complained about shortage of blood and medicines.

They have even been deprived of dialysis service due to COVID-19 crisis.

Shashikala Khawas of Belbari, Morang, who was diagnosed with kidney disease a few years ago, have been deprived of dialysis service that she requires twice a week.

“As I was unable to go home for a long time due to the lockdown, I’ve spent most of my money on accommodation and food.

Now I have run out of cash and cannot afford treatment,” she lamented.

Bishnumaya Rai of Duhabi Bhaluwa Municipality-3, who has been at the hospital for her husband’s dialysis, said that it was very difficult to save her husband’s life.

“I fear that we might succumb to hunger if the situation remains same for long.

We’re running out of money, and now we are compelled to buy the medicine, which was given free of cost earlier,” she added.

Another dialysis patient Bishal Tamang also shared his plight of having to buy the medicine that the government provided free of cost earlier. “The hospital pays us for the medicine it provides free of cost and we have to buy from private pharmacies, but the private pharmacies charge extra for the same,” Tamang said.

BPKIHS Director Dr Gaurishankar Sah admitted that the hospital had been unable to provide medicine to kidney patients. “Though we don’t have medicine, we’re reimbursing the patients for the medicine on the basis of the purchase bill,” he said.

The institute has eight dialysis machines, and with them it conducts dialysis of over 50 patients every day.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 27, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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