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Medical fraternity opposes Adhikari’s appointment as health secretary

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Dec 12, 2018-

The medical fraternity has opposed the appointment of Kedar Bahadur Adhikari as the secretary of Ministry of Health and Population.

Adhikari, who comes from a non-medical background, was appointed the new health secretary by the KP Oli government last week, even though the Health Service Act states that the position should be held by a person from medical profession.

On Monday, the Nepal Medical Association, the umbrella body of medical doctors, and the Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal had submitted a memorandum to Health Minister Upendra Yadav, demanding withdrawal of Adhikari’s appointment, for it did not adhere to the Health Service Act.   

Adhikari was transferred to the ministry in capacity of health secretary from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. He was appointed as a replacement to Dr Pushpa Chaudhary who, according to sources, was transferred due to her differences with Minister Yadav.

But even Minister Yadav is apparently not pleased with Adhikari’s appointment  

NMA General Secretary Dr Lochan Karki told the Post that Minister Yadav assured them during Monday’s meeting that he will talk with Prime Minister Oli about withdrawing Adhikari’s appointment.

“Following Minister Yadav’s assurance we are waiting for positive news. We will be compelled to take stern steps if our concerns are not addressed ,” said Dr Karki.

Issuing a statement, the NMA and the GODAN have asked all its chapters to be prepared for a protest if their demand is not addressed.

The Nursing Association of Nepal has meanwhile decided to see how well Adhikari fits in the new role.

“If he performs poorly, then we will join the NMA and the GODAN in their protest,” said Tara Pokhrel, the association’s president.

Adhikari’s appointment has also generated debate among the officials at the ministry.

Though Adhikari has already worked at the ministry as a joint secretary, many officials at the ministry do not seem keen on welcoming him back as a secretary.

They say Adhikari is not fit for the job for the same reason the NMA and the GODAN have objected to his appointment, that he does not come from medical background.

“Appointing someone who is not from the medical sector to the post of health secretary will affect the overall functioning of the ministry,” warned Dr Sushil Nath Pyakurel, chief specialist of the ministry.

Published: 12-12-2018 07:34

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