TUTH docs join Dr KC on strike

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Sep 28, 2015-

Resident doctors of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital skipped their Out-Patient-Department (OPD) services from Sunday in a bid to put pressure on the government to fulfil the demands of Dr Govinda KC.

Dr KC, an orthopaedic surgeon of TUTH, is on the ninth-day of his seventh hunger strike demanding reforms in medical education. Despite reaching an agreement with the government on introducing medical education reforms before he broke his last hunger strike, Dr KC  says that the government has deliberately worked to dilute the spirit of the agreement that calls for the Health Profession Education Commission to be chaired by the Prime Minister.

Resident doctors are vital members in the TUTH that, along with senior doctors, cater to the need of around 3,000 people each day. There are a total of 300 resident doctors working at TUTH OPD.

Dr Rajesh Bhurtel, president of National Resident Doctors Association at the Institute of Medicine, warned that they will be compelled to stop providing their entire services if the government does not heed to the demands of Dr KC.

On Sunday, a joint statement released by residents doctors of IoM, National Academy of Medical Sciences Bir Hospital and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences has warned to stop services in all of these hospitals. As a national referral centre, Bir Hospital sees patients from across the country while BPKIHS is the only specialised referral centre in eastern Nepal.

Dr Deepak Mahara, director of TUTH, said they struggle to cater to patients after few days. He added that senior doctors and faculty members at present are struggling to manage their time between seeing patients and taking examinations. “Also, the shortage of fuel and following odd-even number plates rule have also made it hard,” said Dr Mahara. “If this continues, perhaps we should put a ceiling in number of patients for a day.”

The Nepal Medical Association has also warned to bring the entire hospital services to a halt if the demands of Dr KC are not addressed. “This is too much. The political leaders are just not interested in bringing reforms in the medical sector,” said Dr Anjani Kumar Jha, president of NMA. “The government cannot shrug off Dr KC’s demand citing the present crisis.”

Meanwhile, the health of Dr KC is deteriorating rapidly with a sharp drop in white blood cells count. This, doctors fear, will invite infections in his fasting body.

Published: 28-09-2015 08:31

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