Good medical care is a serious problem in rural and urban areas of Nepal. A lot of people have moved to Kathmandu after the civil war to seek better opportunities. This has left much of the city’s public health infrastructure desperately overused. For the poor living in Kathmandu seeing a doctor is simply not an affordable option. Meanwhile, in rural areas, medical facilities are also in short supply. The main reasons are a poor transportation network and a lack of funding.
To improve the medical care situation in Nepal, Volunteer Society Nepal (VSN) establishes clinics and camps to provide basic checkups and awareness in needy communities. VSN also partners with hospitals & medical centres that require extra financial and personnel support.
Volunteer Society Nepal has three different types of health placements for volunteers in Nepal:
If you are studying to become a medical professional then this is the placement for you. Volunteers on this program will have the opportunity to carry out basic health checks in clinics, observe Nepali doctors in hospitals, and practice in your elected field. For most of this placement, you will shadow Nepali doctors, who will have good spoken English. On this placement, you may also get the chance to run/take part in VSN’s own health camp, which moves between needy communities offering basic medical care.
If you are a qualified medical professional then you have the opportunity to work in hospitals, medical clinics and health camps. Please note that working as a medical professional/ student in Nepal may be very different to your experiences in your home country. Medicine names and practices may differ here and volunteers have to adapt to these changes. Although VSN provides the service of an interpreter where necessary, communication can sometimes limit the actions of our volunteers. This said, volunteers often relate that these factors enhance their experience in Nepal, forcing them to learn quickly on the job.
These placements are available for those who have a desire to work in the medical profession, but are not yet qualified or studying medicine. As a volunteer on this placement, you will be given the opportunity to observe doctors in clinics and run your own health awareness programs in schools, women’s groups, disability centres and other community organizations. These awareness groups will provide local communities with sanitation knowledge and first aid training.
For pre-medic placements, you must have a keen interest or be planning to study medicine in some capacity. With medical student placements, you must be currently studying at or have graduated from medical school. For our professional placements, you must be practising in the medical profession. On applying for these placements please let us know your level of experience and field of expertise. We will do our best to find you a suitable placement.