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Dr Govinda KC ends his death fast

  • Expresses hope the hard-won victory will not go waste
  • Nepal Medical Association calls off its strike
- Manish Gautam

Jan 25, 2014-

Dr Govinda KC, a senior orthopaedic of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, ended his fast after 14 days on Friday morning after the government committed to fulfil three major demands.

Dr KC decided to break his fast after a meeting of government secretaries designated to hold talks with the agitating doctors reached an agreement on Thursday night.

The government talks panel headed by Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Krishna Hari Baskota has agreed in principle to study feasibility on providing autonomy to the Institute of Medicine (IoM), stop affiliation to new medical colleges and to set up a mechanism to appoint a new dean on the basis of "seniority and work experience".

Meanwhile, the Nepal Medical Association has also called off its indefinite strike called in support of Dr KC.

Dr KC, 57, who had been subsisting only on water, drank juice offered to him by four people--Chok Bahadur Gandarva, a sarangi player; Alisa Thapa, his patient; Dr Pragya Bhandari, who was taking care of him round the clock and Baskota. 

Breaking the fast, Dr KC expressed hope that the hard-won victory will not go waste if the judiciary passes any decision on the recently sacked Dean Dr Sashi Sharma. Dr KC was indicating to the widespread rumour that Dr Sharma would seek reinstatement from the apex court if he filed a complaint regarding his sacking.

Surrounded by a mass of around 200 people, Banskota read out the agreement reached between the doctors and the government. As demanded by Dr KC, the government said that a six-member team formed by the Cabinet on January 16 will submit a feasibility report on providing autonomy to the IoM within three months. The institute will not be forced to provide affiliations to new colleges until the government comes up with a clear policy on the number of medical colleges that will be drafted after analysing the present status of the medical colleges, distribution of colleges in different geographical locations on need basis. "We will make sure that the TU office bearers appoint a new dean on the basis of seniority and work experience as demanded by Dr KC," said Baskota.

Other members of the government team, including Secretaries of Ministry of Home Affairs Janardan Nepal, Narayan Gopal Malegu of Ministry of Education and Pravin Mishra of Ministry of Health and Population were also present at the gathering. 

Dr KC, chief of the Orthopaedic Department at TUTH, has been taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for further treatment as his fast took a heavy toll on his health. "We will observe him closely and start re-feeding. At present he is kept on a special calorie diet. The body salts including sodium, potassium will also be supplemented through blood," said Dr Divya Singh, a member of the medical team formed to observe Dr KC during his fast. Dr KC had begun his fast against political appointment of the dean on January 11.

NMC president resigns

President of Nepal Medical Council Dr Damodar Gajurel resigned on Friday saying he could not work with the recently elected members of the council.

In the resignation letter submitted to Minister for Health Bidhyadhar Mallik, Dr Gajurel said: "Many members of the council were not present in many meetings were important decision had to be taken. And it was hard to continue this way for long."

He said despite mounting pressure from students who graduated from China to pursue internship in Nepal, non of the members were interested. He was appointed as the chief in 2010.



Published: 25-01-2014 13:59

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