The rebels are training not only fighters but health and medical workers as well. Today, they have their own health facilities in model villages that provide a range of every-day medical care but the focus remains on treating injured rebels. During the early days of the \'people's war', the wounded often died or were captured by the security force while on their way to city hospitals.
"Their security used to be our major challenge," explained Iswori Dahal, who runs the Maoists' central health department. Today, the rebels' health infrastructure includes many health workers in the several districts that they control. Maoist hospitals have OPD, surgery, maternal and infant care, in addition to laboratory facilities. Cooperative medical clinics have already been established. The rebels also run a mobile hospital mostly used to treat militants in the battlefield. Medical workers usually carry guns and a stethoscope side by side and several have been killed in action.
Alok Giri and Iswori Thapa were killed during attacks in Beni and Okhaldhunga. Suprabha, who has long experience as a staff nurse in various hospitals, was lucky to survive and treated more than 300 injured rebels during the clash in Khara of Rukum. Others like Birjit have received medical training from the Maoists and have saved many lives, proving that not everyone has to be trained for years in a medical institute to serve as a health worker. The Maoists have also established a health directorate to train more \'people's health workers'.