Editorial Views

A story: Development of anesthesiology in Nepal

Gautam Ratna Bajracharya, B.Sc., MBBS, MD

Correspondence: Prof. Gautam Ratna Bajracharya, Balaju, P.O. Box: 4602, Ktm, Kathmandu, (Nepal); E-mail: gautambajracharya@live.com; Cell: 00 977 98510 49734


In this editorial is the lively story of the early days of the specialty of anesthesiology in Nepal, and the early career of a young anesthesiologist at there. The author describes the circumstances under which his induction in the field of anesthesia took place. He called a special meeting of all the qualified anesthesiologists of Nepal, attended by only 12 people, and formed the first ad hoc committee of Anesthesiologist’s Society, later to be registered as Society of Anesthesiologists of Nepal – SAN. It was followed by the start of examinations of DA and later on MD (anesthesiology).

Key words: Anesthesiology; Anesthesiologist; Society of Anesthesiologists of Nepal

Citation: Bajracharya GR. A story: Development of anesthesiology in Nepal. Anaesth Pain & Intensive Care 2016;20(4):385-386

Received: 9 Dec 2016; Reviewed & Accepted: 12 Dec 2016

 It was 3rd Sept. 1971 when I landed at Agra (India) to join MBBS course at S. N. Medical College under Colombo Plan. The whole dream was almost shattered due to Indo-Pakistan war during which 14 different places of India, including Agra, were bombarded and my parents thought that I had perished then. Bangladesh was created. In the final MBBS practical examination / viva voce of surgery, I was asked if I knew one Nepali doctor who did DA (Diploma in Anesthesia) from that college long time back. During internship, I had to take a Nepali patient for operative treatment from Nepal, for which the surgical head asked me to donate a set of close circuit for anesthesia machine. After completion of my internship, I was supposed to join a postgraduate course, but due to the sudden demise of my father, I had to go back to Nepal and join the regular health service. During the service period, I had the opportunity to work in Anesthesia department as a house officer that stimulated to create an interest in Anesthesia. Mean time, I suddenly lost my first son accidentally, for which I had tried my best to resuscitate him with the little knowledge that I had but failed. At that time I was the General Secretary of Nepal Medical Association. During which I had the opportunity to honor the pioneer anesthesiologist of Nepal by accepting him as the honorary member of Nepal Medical Association. Later, I went back to my old medical college to pursue my post graduate study in MD (Anesthesiology). During MD residency program, I had to take one relative child for pediatric plastic surgery which really stimulated me to work in pediatric anesthesia. During this period two state level anesthesiology conferences were held in our college during my residency. It was really encouraging.

Once, I came back from medical college, I started working in the central  government hospital of Nepal as an anesthesiologist with 200% financial incentive. In 6 month time, I called a special meeting of all the qualified anesthesiologists of the valley and formed the first ad hoc committee of Anesthesiologist’s Society. It was attended by only 12 people. We conducted conferences, had election and hence officially registered Society of Anesthesiologists of Nepal – SAN.

Meantime there was the development of Diploma in Anesthesiology in Nepal under Canada’s support. Then it was the time to start MD Anesthesiology program in Nepal, and news was published in the World Anaeshesia newsletter that a private institute headed by Dr Gautam Ratna Bajracharya was going to start the residency program in anesthesiology in Nepal. That really stimulated other anesthesiologists and finally MD Anesthesiology program was started under the Tribhuvan University. We were two MD qualified anesthesiologists, who established the program with the help of all the other qualified anesthesiologists of Nepal. Today, we have four different universities conducting MD Anesthesiology residency program with the enrolment of about 40 residents each year. The programs were all competitive and successful with the provision of gold medal awarded to the top successful candidate each year.

Internationally, SAN became the member of World Federation of Societies of Anesthesia (WFSA) in 1988.1

We made South Asian Confederation of Anesthesiologists – SACA in 1991 at New Delhi, and I was a founder member. Later it was renamed to SAARC-AA in the year 2007.2 SAARC-AA was recognized under WFSA in WCA Argentina in 2011. Nepal competed as the member of the central committee of WFSA in WCA Argentina in 2011.

Later in 2012, the author got retired from government service and joined a private medical college, Nepal Medical College Teaching Hospital, Jorpati, Kathmandu, as a professor and head of the department of anesthesiology, intensive care and perioperative medicine, and has been working there till date.

Conflict of interest: Nil


  1. NEPAL – Society of Anaesthesiologists of Nepal. Available at http://www.wfsahq.org/about-us/member-societies/144-nepal-society-of-anaesthesiologists-of-nepal (Accessed on 12 December 2016)
  1. HOW SAARC-AA BEGAN. http://saarc-aa.com/?page_id=117 (Accessed on 12 December 2016)