The recent suicide of a woman who was unable to pay her hospital bills reflects the sickness of the nation's health system. Amrit BK from Chitwan chose death to protest against a state that can't ensure proper health for all. The government and civil society could not help her during her time of distress. The ever-mushrooming social service organisations, those that claim they are the voice of poor and deprived people, remained mute when a woman was ending her life.Amrit BK's death is proof that building hospitals and producing medicines does not mean affordable and accessible health care for all citizens. We have hospitals, well-trained doctors and modern equipment but all these are beyond the reach of ordinary people. Amrit BK was at a hospital in the capital that has state of the art equipment but she couldn't afford them. If things are so dire in Kathmandu, one wonders what must be the state of health in rural areas.
Government hospitals are less expensive and the services are easier to access but they are not as effective. Sick people are compelled to seek help at private hospitals. Hospital administrators would also have paid special attention to the deprived and social service organisations would have been able to help. This suicide has alerted all concerned to the consequences of neglect and should be a lesson to prevent such mistakes from being repeated.