Non-government doctors decry eight-point deal

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Jan 17, 2019-

Just two days after the Health Ministry reached an eight-point agreement with government doctors to end their week-long protest, non-government doctors are now raising reservations over some points of the deal and are warning the government against implementing the deal.

The Government Doctors’ Association Nepal (GODAN) had halted general services across the country for an hour every day from January 7-14 and had warned they would intensify protests if their demands were not addressed at the earliest. GODAN had also refused to participate in the civil servant adjustment ordinance until their demands were met.

The health ministry had then formed a three-member talk committee under the Director General of the Department of Health Services Dr Gunaraj Lohani to address the demands of the agitating doctors.

“The ministry has assured us that it will implement the agreement as soon as possible. We postponed our strike following the assurances,” Dr Dipendra Pandey, the president of GODAN, had told the Post on Monday.

But on Tuesday, the Non-government Doctors’ Association is unhappy

with this news, as from the eight points listed in the agreement, the body has expressed its reservations over two points.

Agreement number four states that the ministry will form an umbrella act for all the academies of health sciences and the hospitals under different academies will be run by the Ministry of Health, which will be headed by a government doctor appointed as per his/her credentials and experience in the health sector.

“There are many capable non-government doctors in the country to head the hospitals under the ministry. There should be an open competition for the appointment in the ministry or in any health sector,” Dr Ritesh Thapa, general secretary at Non-government Doctors’ Association told the Post. Similarly, the nongovernment doctors have also shown reservation regarding point number six, which states that there will no longer be an open competition for the 11th rank.

As the government doctors and the ministry have only made an agreement and are yet to be implemented, non-government doctors have warned the government not to implement it with these two provisions. “We will be submitting a memorandum to the ministry soon to not implement the demands as it is against nongovernment doctors’ interest,” said Dr Thapa.

The non-government doctors have also said they would be forced to take stern steps if the ministry chooses to overlook their demands.

According to a press release issued by the Non-government Doctors’ Association on Tuesday, the two provisions of the agreement have neglected the efforts and sacrifices of around 80per cent non-government doctors across the country.

“Non-government doctors have been making immense contributions in the country. Neglecting us may force us to resort to protest. Even we are ready to take stern steps for the rights of 80 percent doctors,” said Dr Thapa.

Meanwhile, releasing a statement on Wednesday, the National Academy of Health Sciences and Bir Hospital unit of GODAN have demanded that the ministry of health implement their demands, as it is, at the earliest.

Published: 17-01-2019 08:22

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