Medical volunteer in a community hospital

Nepal (N20) | View map
PRICE FROM
£196 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months
MINIMUM DURATION
1 month

Medical volunteer in a community hospital in Nepal

  • Medical volunteer opportunity for medical students, medical internship, nurses
  • Support doctors and nurses working in a range of disciplines in a Nepali hospital
  • Gain experience of the health issues and medical practices of a developing country
  • Work hard, but soak up the culture of Kathmandu and leave time to explore Nepal
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Project summary

We have multiple opportunities to volunteer in a medical setting in Nepal. The first is in a non-profit, community hospital in Kathmandu. The 100-bed community hospital provides quality care at prices the average Nepali citizen can afford, and for the poorest they offer subsidised and free treatment.

Their mission is ‘to provide sustainable, affordable, quality health care services, for the poor & needy people of urban and rural Nepal’. They achieve this through running the hospital in Kathmandu plus a number of satellite clinics in rural areas. As well as providing local outpatient services, the satellite clinics promote the affordability of the hospital, meaning many patients undertake long journeys to access the high quality but affordable care provided at the hospital.

In a typically chaotic looking environment, housed in an expanded residential block, the hospital nevertheless provides a full range of services, from general medicine, pediatric & maternity services, gynae/obstetric, orthopaedic, ENT, cardiology, dermatology, neurology, minor & major surgery including neuro, plastic and reconstructive surgery, ICU, physiotherapy, family planning and DOT. The hospital is currently moving to a new hospital that will offer more space and a better working environment in time.

Student nurses and medical students are welcome to work in the hospital, gaining experience across a range of disciplines, as well as very real experience of working in a hospital in a developing country.

A second volunteer opportunity exists to work in a 500 bed children’s hospital, working with the children of Nepal. This is a large state run hospital which provides a different perspective to the healthcare system. In addition volunteers can also work in a rural District hospital, gaining further insight to Nepali healthcare in a hospital where more actual support is required of the volunteer.

Depending on the time available to the volunteer, you may be able to experience working in multiple settings with local agreement.

Both hospitals will accept qualified nurses, but you will be required to gain a Nepali Nursing Council licence to practice, which much be applied for locally, and this will still require you to have a level of monitoring.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

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Volunteer nurses would work under the Nursing Director and would develop a programme of activity that matches both the volunteer’s interest and their capabilities.

Medical students would be under the direction of Dr Gupta, the hospital’s Executive Chairman, who would develop a tailored programme of activity to circulate the student around the various departments in the hospital and to meet any specific interest areas of the volunteer, as well as the resource needs of the hospital.

Medical students would have the opportunity to gain experience across a variety of medical disciplines, spending time in those areas that they perhaps wish to specialise in future. All the doctors speak English, so there is a real opportunity to engage and learn directly from the experience.

Medical volunteers would of course only be able to perform duties that they are qualified for, but would receive some training to expand their capabilities.

How you can make a difference

Medical students and nursing students have the opportunity to learn from the experience, but also contribute nursing resources and assistance to the doctors.

Qualified volunteer nurses provide extra capacity to a non-profit organisation with limited resources, but can also potentially assist with the transfer of skills and knowledge from their previous experience, as many of the local nurses will be recently qualified volunteer nurses. This capacity provides a greater level of care to the patients, and potentially enables the exchange of best practices with the local staff.

 

what is distinctive about this project

This is an excellent hospital utilising leading doctors in a programme that delivers affordable care to the poorest in Nepal.

The medical volunteering opportunity provides medical students and nurses with a valuable insight to the health issues endemic to a developing country such as Nepal and the medical practices used to deal with them.

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The hospital is a relatively small community hospital, with good doctors and modest equipment (although reasonable in the context of Nepal). Medical volunteers will gain a real insight to local health issues and medical practices of Nepal, as well as the country’s culture, both inside and outside the hospital.

This will undoubtedly be fascinating, but of course will be a different experience for those used to modern, western hospitals. Volunteers should expect to see medical cases of a higher severity, as people will leave it to the last possible moment before accessing treatments that cost money, and with greater frequency due to the endemic issues of the country.

Season

The hospital is open all year round, although the best timings for volunteers will always be subject to numerous holidays and festivals.

language

All the doctors speak English, but patients might speak little, so any long term volunteering would be best supplemented by learning some basics of the Nepali language.

Experience required

This is a project only suitable to those already studying medicine or nursing, or potentially those already qualified. The hospital will invest time developing your tailored programme, which is a real opportunity that you should reward with your full commitment.

Good to know

This is an excellent opportunity to get first hand experience as a medical volunteer working in a hospital in Nepal, delivering care and support to some of those who need it most.

Kathmandu is also a vibrant city, packed with culture and history, where old meets new on every street corner. It is also a well connected location to explore the rest of Nepal, whether trekking, white water rafting or just drifting around rural villages.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks20 weeks
£1,396£1,882£2,359£2,825£3,309

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Pre-departure support and briefings, Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country and UK support throughout. Outreach T-shirt.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations, Nepal Nursing Council licence for qualified nurses

Things to see and do

  • Trekking
  • Tea & Temples
  • Go safari in Chitwan
  • Everest Base Camp
Ram Hari Basnet

Country co-ordinator

Ram Hari Basnet

Ram Hari is a respected businessman based in Kathmandu, with a wealth of local connections. Ram Hari built up 17 years valuable experience working in the prestigious Kathmandu Guest House and so has an excellent cultural understanding of foreign travellers. He used this platform to successfully start his own business and he now supports a number of charitable projects, including funding his own private school in his home village.

About Nepal