Khumbu Health Clinics
Many tourists to Nepal come to an alarming realization that if they had health problems there they are further away from modern medical facilities than any time back at home. Westerners often take the availability of reliable hospital care for granted in their homelands, but in Nepal that kind of treatment is not always available. In Kathmandu the hospitals are generally overloaded with desperate patients, understaffed and underfunded, and at a lower standard of sanitation than in more advanced countries. In some cases it is more beneficial for the infirm to stay away from the hospital or seek medical attention in another country. In the remote villages far from the city the conditions are even more adverse, though one region has amazingly good medical facilities. Thanks to the Hillary Foundation and the great international attention the Khumbu region has a number of small but effective clinics for safeguarding tourists and villagers alike.
The Khumbu region leading up to the base of Mt. Everest is a very popular
destination for hikers in Nepal, and these tourists are prone to injuries on
the trails and problems with altitude sickness. The villagers and porters in
the area also have need for medical treatment. The Kunde Clinic above Namche
is a remarkably well-equipped and staffed facility with western-trained doctors
in residence. It is very clean and the load of patients is reasonably light.
For a small fee (US $40) the clinic consults and treats patients. Another facility
is the Pheriche clinic, is set up more specifically for treatment of altitude
sickness and gastrointestinal problems. They offer a daily presentation on
dealing with altitude sickness, and they are host to research studies to test
medications for high altitude headaches. The Himalayan Rescue Association helps
to get injured and sick hikers down to these clinics, and further down to Kathmandu
for more serious conditions. In a sense you are closer to effective medical
treatment up in the mountains.