Cancer hospital in severe financial crisis

June 12. Chitwan, The BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Bharatpur of Chitwan is reeling under a financial crisis, with increasing expenses and lowering budget.

The budget it receives is only sufficient for regular works like salary of doctors and staff, and general expenditure. As a result, many medical equipment have not been maintained, forcing patients to pay high charge in private hospitals and clinics.

The hospital that received Rs. 330 million in the fiscal year 2067/68 has received only Rs. 246 million in the current fiscal year, according to Deputy Director of the Hospital Dej Kumar Gautam. The hospital has been making income of its own worth Rs. 101 million whereas its expense was Rs. 490 million last fiscal year.

Funds from the Employees Welfare Trust, Gratuity Fund and Health Treatment Fund have been used to meet the operation cost, totaling Rs. 280 million, adds Gautam. However, payment for the goods purchased throughout the year and salary for the month of Jetha has not yet been released due to the financial crisis.

The CT scan machine that went out of operation three months ago is yet to be renovated while the mammogram for breast screening is not available here since the past five years, said Executive Director of the Hospital Dr Chin Bahadur Pun. As a result, the patients are compelled to rely on private institutions, who charge four times more than that by the hospital.

Furthermore, the under-construction building of the hospital has suffered due to lack of budget. The contract was given for Rs. 600 million while only Rs. 300 million budget has been released so far. The hospital plans to add 200-bed facility to the existing 194-beds through the new building.

The operation of the hospital could be affected if due attention was not given towards the poor financial situation of the hospital, warns Executive Director Pun.

The hospital has been receiving some 100,000 patients every year, of which 26,000 are cancer patients. The hospital was founded in 2052 B.S. with support from the government of China.

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