National

Health secretary appointment: Apex court serves show cause to PM’s Office and Health Ministry

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Dec 13, 2018-

The Supreme Court has issued a show cause notice to the government for transferring Dr Pushpa Chaudhary from the Ministry of Health and Population.

Dr Chaudhary, who was serving as a health secretary at the ministry, was transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers by the Cabinet meeting on October 24.  

Responding to the petition filed by Dr Chaudhary on November 1, a division bench of Justice Hari Krishna Karki and Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla on Wednesday served the show cause to the ministry and the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).

Dr Chaudhary has claimed that she was transferred without any clear explanation.

Sources said Dr Chaudhary was transferred due to her differences with Health Minister Upendra Yadav.

After her transfer, chief specialist at the ministry Dr Sushil Nath Pyakurel was appointed the acting health secretary. 

Dr Chaudhary briefly returned to the ministry following an interim order from the apex court, but she was once again forced to leave after Lok Darshan Regmi, secretary at the OPMCM, and Dr Pyakurel filed separate petitions against her. 

The Supreme Court has combined the petitions from Regmi and Dr Pyakurel and ordered them to furnish the details of the decision taken by the government concerning Dr Chaudhary’s transfer.

The case is still sub judice, but the government has already appointed a new health secretary. 

The Cabinet meeting on December 3 had announced the appointment of Kedar Bahadur Adhikari as the health secretary.

Adhikari’s appointment, however, has been disputed by the medical fraternity, saying that he does not come from a medical background.

The Medical Service Act states that only a person from a medical background can be appointed the health secretary. The National Medical Association and the Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal have warned the government of a protest if Adhikari’s appointment is not withdrawn immediately.

Published: 13-12-2018 08:14

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