Health minister to settle secy apptt row

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 24, 2014-

Minister for Health and Population Khagaraj Adhikari on Sunday pledged to take initiative to appoint new health secretary from medical background. Adhikari vowed to propose the new secretary in next two weeks following pressure from the Nepal Medical Association (NMA), which had threatened to close hospital services from Monday if the government does not review its earlier decision.

A Cabinet meeting on last Thursday transferred Shanta Bahadur Shrestha of Ministry of Local Development to the Health Ministry. The NMA, a professional organisation of medical doctors, expressed its strong objection to the appointment of a person with non-medical background as secretary of Health Ministry and said the decision was against the spirit of Health Service Act. The association had been staging sit-in protest outside the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) for a week.

According to Clause 19 of the Nepal Health Service Act 1997, officers who have “served for at least five years in the Eleventh level of the health service or an employee serving in the Twelfth level may be appointed to the post of secretary” at the MoHP.

Dr Anjani Kumar Jha, NMA president, warned that they will begin stern protests if the government fails to translate the agreement into action. “We don’t need health service act if the government decides as per its wish. If they follow the rules, they have no options but to appoint health secretary from health background,” Dr Jha said.

Meanwhile, the government and the NMA in a 10-point agreement have decided to implement the health insurance scheme effectively and review the existing number of health workforce for better service delivery. The agreement has also paved way for discussions on the establishment of a medical university and affiliation process of medical colleges.

Published: 25-08-2014 09:17

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