Every year thousands of Indians from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh visit the Shree Rana Ambika Eye Hospital in Bhairahawa for eye surgery. The hospital known for its low cost and high quality of service in ophthalmological care treats close to 15,000 Indian patients each year.
That number is however down by half post the blockade with many patients choosing to postpone their surgery dates due to difficulties faced in crossing the border.
According to hospital manager Amod Kumar Singh, the number of Indian patients visiting the hospital has gone down by 60 per cent.
Fifty-year-old Karan Yadav who came from Uttar Pradesh says many of his neighbours are afraid to come to Nepal. “They say there is turmoil and it will be very difficult for us to get here,” he said.
The hospital treats over 194,000 patients each year, out of 33,000 surgeries performed in a year, 15,000 are on Indian nationals.