About doctors getting “thrashed” in Nepal March 14 2015

There are some “dirty little secrets” of Nepal healthcare – things that everybody knows but which nobody talks about. And my book, The Sacrament of the Goddess, deals with many of them, head-on. That’s why the novel has a cult following among doctors and nurses who have read it in Nepal.

Oh, the descriptions of the novel are a bit vague

“It’s a love story;” or

“It’s about the Civil War in Nepal and the missionaries caught in the middle;” or

“It’s about the way that medical decisions are made in a low income setting.”

Yeah, well, all the above are true, sort of. But the story is also about the way that people in Nepal deal with tragedy during those times when the doctors are unable to save somebody’s life.

“Thrashing” is a euphemism

And that’s where it gets interesting. The newspapers in Kathmandu always seem to publish stories about how this or that group of angry relatives “thrashed” a doctor, beating him (or her) senseless or creating a disturbance. When I first heard the term I thought it was “quaint.” Getting thrashed means that a mob beats you with bamboo sticks. If they are angry enough they can break every bone you have.

It’s not unique to Nepal, it happens a lot in India. On more than one occasion, doctors in Nepal have held a one-day strike to bring attention to the issue.

But there are even more stories that do not make the papers, and every doctor and every nurse is able to share the details of their own encounter with danger.

Young doctors dealing with fear

Young doctors in Nepal are trained at the larger hospitals, but after getting their MBBS degree, many of them spend a year posted in a rural health post, as a partial payment for student loans. If you ask them about this, their near-unanimous feeling is worry about trying to do the best they can, yet getting thrashed by angry family members if things don’t turn out perfectly.

Three actions to take

Every one concerned about this issue can do three things.

First, go to Vajra Books on Jyatha in Thamel, or Tibet Books on Tri Devi Marg, and buy The Sacrament of the Goddess. It’s a highly readable novel that gives a first-hand, truthful picture about hospitals in Nepal. Yes, folks, it’s the book I wrote.

Next, this issue is addressed in the 2- and 3-day courses in cardiac resuscitation taught by CCNEPal. CCNEPal has materials on strategies to minimize the risk of an escalating situation. Those persons who have taken the course can tell you about it. Sign up for a course.

UPDATE May 2nd 2016

If you don’t believe that this is a problem, read this report from Maharashtra State in India.

Finally, in the coming days, I will post a series of blog entries on the CCNEPal blog page, that will educate about strategies to deal with this problem. Click here to get to that blog, and when you do- click on the “subscribe” button. It will be a series you won’t want to miss. You will want to share it with your friends.



Review of my novel The Sacrament of the Goddess by a Nepali RN

The Sacrament of the Goddess is now available on Amazon. You can read the first five chapters on the Kindle site, and decide.

Pre-Publication reviews

In prep for this I sent a number of spiral-bound copies of the draft in pdf to people who might review it. The feedback is beginning to appear.

This book will be of interest to people in Nepal, or who want to learn about the fascinating and wonderful culture of that magical country. Here is a thoughtful review by a friends of mine. Binu is a Nepali citizen and a Registered Nurse in that country.  I would humbly say that she “Gets it”

from  Goodreads

I feel lucky to get pre-publication copy of the book The Sacrament of the Goddess written by Joe Niemczura. I am not fond of reading books but I do read something sometime and if anything interests me I go deep into it. I must say The Sacrament of the Goddess is the book, which created my interest as I start to flip pages of it.

The book is about an American guy Matt who loved a Nepali woman Shushila. He goes to medical school, then comes back to look for his love and volunteers in hospital of Nepal. It is also about a Nepali girl who went through tough time in a relationship. It depicts war between maoist and governmental army of Nepal so clearly.

I am a Nepali reader and I thought in spite of being foreigner, writer knows more about our situation than me. And he presented everything so precisely. When the guy came back to Nepal and volunteer in hospital; episodes of burn victim, emergency cesarean, mushroom poisoning, malaria, and of course, violence against hospital staff are well pictured. It shows Nepali community and cultural aspects also. There are many other characters besides hero and heroine and writer did totally fair with all of them with their roles. Book is about, What happens with hero and heroine and with their love?

I am not finding one right word to say what is the book as a whole, because it’s a love story with tragedy, there is a war and there is a kindness and lots of problems with their solutions. In fact the book is a complete package of entertainment and emotions. And I must mention that it has suspense right up to the last page. As a whole I recommend this book for all those readers who want to read a “GOOD READ”.

I have been tweeting about it, if you are on Twitter, look for @CCNEPal2013