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SAARC Cabinet secretaries’ meet kicks off in Kathmandu

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KATHMANDU — South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cabinet secretaries meeting has kicked off in Kathmandu.

PM KP Sharma Oli initiated the two-day meeting on Thursday.

Other than chief secretaries of eight member states, high officials of the observer nations are also present in the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, PM Oli said public administration should be smooth and effective in order to bring economic prosperity in the region.

“It is very important to further enhance regional cooperation in SAARC,” said the Prime Minister, adding the regional bloc was yet to effectively meet expectations of people from it.

Oli has also praised Nepal’s Constitution promulgated last year as world’s one of the best constitution claiming it had institutionalised the republicanism and ensured people’s rights.

Secretaries of member states of the SAARC would hold discussions on governance practices of the region, common problems of governance and their solutions and initiatives to be taken for the improvement.

Addressing the inaugural, SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa commented that the regional organisation achieved some significant successes in its 30-year history.

Likewise, Nepal’s Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi said good governance could be achieved with corruption control, economic prosperity and inclusive development.

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Bir Hospital to get new surgery building

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KATHMANDU— The oldest hospital of the country, Bir Hospital, is in the process of getting a separate well-equipped building for surgery within the next two years.

The proposed nine-storey building will have 15 operation theaters.
The new building will have a post-operative ward; a 40-bed surgical ward; an Intensive Care Union (ICU); and a library as well. The new infrastructure will also have the facilities friendly to the senior citizens, disabled and the visitors, the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) says.

It is estimated to cost Rs 3.85 billion to complete the construction in two years. It is being constructed in an area of the old building of the NAMS nursing college which collapsed in the 2015 April earthquake. The building construction was inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on March 9.

The hospital that had started its services in 1947 BS with 15 beds has now 450 beds. The NAMS operates Nursing, MBBS, MD classes and training as well.

The post of NAMS Chancellor has been lying vacant since the past five months. As shared by an employee, the delay in appointing the chancellor has caused inconveniences to the operation of hospital regular activities.

Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Sushilnath Pyakurel, said the recommendations have been already made before the minister to make appointments in the posts lying vacant in various health academies.

Similarly, infrastructures are being developed to upgrade the hospital by adding extra services including a helipad service for the first time from the government level.

The hospital has started its service from its branch at Duwakot of Bhaktapur from October 10 as part of its service expansion in line with the policy of the Ministry of Health.

The Duwakot branch provides OPD and surgery at present. OPD service starts from 9 am to 5 pm. The NAMS has permitted the construction of well equipped physical infrastructure for the hospital branch to provide international standard service, said the Hospital’s Director Prof Dr Bhupendra Basnet.

The Ministry of Health has allocated Rs 300 million as per the master plan of the NAMS and provided approximately 570 ropanis of land for the construction of physical infrastructures for the hospital branch.

“Necessary human resources including a medical officer, nurses and assistant health workers have been managed for the hospital branch. Medical equipment and other workforce that includes specialist doctors will also be managed as per need,” said Basnet.

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