It is assumed that 55% of the Nepalese population does not have access to basic health care and there are –apart from SKM hospital – only a few other facilities for plastic and reconstructive surgery for the whole Nepalese population.
In Nepal, as well as in other countries in the world, congenital deformities are under – observed. Many Nepalese are unable to live normal lives due to congenital deformities of the face ( such as cleft, lips and plates) and the limbs: deformities causes by second and third degree burns; skin and soft after- effects caused by a severe injury or any other dysfunctional after –effects of improper or non-existent medical care.
Beside this, serious burns happen far more often than in developed countries as people still cook and sleep mostly by open fires. Mothers also tend to leave their young children at home while they work in the fields, which can lead to serious burn injuries. Moreover, the technically insufficient "modern" kerosene stoves can easily explode, causing many serious burns, mainly to children and women.
In response to an urgent need for comprehensive, high quality, low-cost (and free) plastic and reconstructive surgery services in Nepal, Prof Lemperle and SKM Trust established the SKM Hospital in 1997.
Currently medical facilities to treat burns, deformities, tumors etc. are rare and usually both inaccessible and unaffordable for the majority of people needing such service.
That is why we organize the system of free treatment for those who cannot afford to be cured, and for others the fees depend on the importance and the duration of the operation.
Human Resource Management
The Hospital is run by a German matron and German general surgeon and specialist in hand , plastic and reconstructive surgery. They work with well trained Nepalese staff of more than 60, including 21 nurses, 3 resident doctors, 2 surgeons, an assistant surgeon, a dental hygienist and a physiotherapist.
Our staff is frequently supported by foreign medical teams. Especially for the surgical treatment of extreme cases we are able to call on noted specialized German maxillofacial, Dental, ENT and Plastic Surgeons. German volunteers regularly visit SKMH to provide support in various areas such as surgical/medical support, repair and maintenance of hospital equipments etc.
Financial and technical Sustainability
In order to increase the funds generated by the hospital, we introduced cosmetic surgery and other service aimed at Kathmandu middle and upper classes, expatriates and tourists. These revenues are used to counterbalance the cost of the hospital's core services provided to the poor and needy people.
The foreign specialist doctors also participate in the training of our staff, as they try to transfer maximum knowledge during their stay in the hospital. We are currently building the capacities of our Nepalese staff so they can gradually assume more and more responsibilities in every aspect of running the hospital. We are also in close contact with medical education providers of the country in order to prepare qualified medical personal in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Our hospital has a lot of equipment that needs maintenance by specialized technicians and engineers. Foreign engineers are training local technicians to maintain this equipment and it is anticipated that local staff will be able to keep up our facilities in the near future.
Aims of the SKM Hospital
To cover a majority of the needs in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery by offering compressive, high quality, low cost of often free services to the Nepalese population.
To establish an effective working , self –sustainable and long lasting hospital by transferring medical, technical and organizational know-how.
To carry out services for the communities living in the 12 VDC's surrounding the hospital.
To organize operations and check up camps in rural areas in order to increase people's awareness of our hospital and diminish the patients' problems in consulting us.
To improve the plastic and reconstructive surgery in Nepal by training Nepalese doctors and nurses, making the hospital self- sustainable and by developing the community ownership.
From June 1997 to December 2006:
We have increased from 1 to 3 operation theaters, 8 to 46 beds for in –patients and from 3 to 21 Nepalese nurses.
9.751 operations have place on 7.536 patients.
From November 2000 to December 2006, we have organized 19 medical camps in 15 remote areas during which 4.015 patients were checked and 1.372 operations were performed. In 2006, we managed.
20 to 25 major operations every week;
Dental examination and treatment for 2.068 patients;
General medical treatment for 2.572 patients;
4.529 physiotherapy sessions;
4 surgical camps in remote areas, leading to 488 operations and 1.133 check- ups;
Ambulance transportation for 655 patients.