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  • Ben Church

To Asia!

Updated: Mar 7, 2018

Hey Everyone! Here is the first post of hopefully many. The nervous excitement is totally setting in, me and Deeps leave for India tomorrow for a whirlwind tour of Rajasthan before I leave for Nepal. Got one more shift tonight then it's time for the adventure. Been spending most of the day getting last minute packing stuff in, checked my gear list too many times to count. This whole packing thing really has made me regret bringing physical books rather than the kindle like everyone suggested but it'll be worth it once I get to Manang (that's what I keep telling myself anyway).


Today I did learn of a slight hiccup in the plans to volunteer this season. People may have heard about the Australian physician who was arrested in Nepal for not having the right accreditation, holding a possible punishment of up to 3 years in prison. There were also 16 other foreign docs involved including 13 from China. The raids all occurred within Kathmandu and stemmed from an anonymous tip. It seems from the news stories that those particular physicians were likely accredited and certified in their home countries but did not get the proper papers from the NMC (Nepalese Medical Council, the main governing body in charge of medical care throughout the country). Some of the docs were performing surgery so the actions of the government totally makes sense. I've had to send in a ton of info, rightly so, to prove I'm a doc in the US. It seems to be that the NMC is cracking down on foreign physicians practicing in Nepal, for what one can assume to be altruistic reasons, who aren't going through the proper channels. Anyway! Fingers crossed our clinics at Manang and Pheriche don't get cancelled!


I get to Kathmandu March 1 so will be updating more once the season gets underway...stay tuned!



News articles regarding the Australian (Sarah Kemp) and Chinese physician arrests:

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2131866/nepalese-police-arrest-13-illegal-chinese-doctors-raids-kathmandu


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-01/australian-doctor-sarah-kemp-arrested-in-nepal/9381862

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I'm Ben! I'm an Emergency Room doctor in Massachusetts who loves backpacking. I'm spending 3 months in Manang, Nepal at 11,500ft above sea level from March to June 2018 volunteering with the Himalayan Rescue Association. This is my blog about the experience.

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