NMA urges doctors not to obey ministry decision

  • opd service on public holidays
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 2, 2014-

The Nepal Medical Association (NMA) on Tuesday appealed all doctors across the country not to obey the decision of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to run the Out-Patient Department (OPD) services at government-run health facilities during public holidays.

The NMA, an umbrella organisation of doctors, has deemed the decision as a “sheer mockery” and violation of international labour norms. The MoHP on September 28 had instructed all government hospitals across the country to open their OPD during public holidays, limiting the number of service closure to 10. For this year, there are 50 public holidays. The OPD will, however, remain shut on Saturdays as per the ministry’s plan.

Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the NMA said the decision was taken to garner cheap popularity though the indoor and emergency services have been run round the year. It said the health ministry is trying to replicate the “Hitler model” of forcing people to work like slaves.

“Despite being a member of International Labour Organisation, which mandates a 40 hour work in a week, the decision is a sheer mockery and riddled with flaws,” reads the NMA statement. The NMA has also warned of stern protests if the MoHP does not scrap its decision.

OPD services are offered in district, zonal, sub-regional, regional and tertiary hospitals. The 2012/13 annual report of the Department of Health Services puts the number of new out-patient visits at more than 24 million.

Dr Guna Raj Lohani, chief of the Curative Division of the MoHP, said they are discussing the matter with NMA to make doctors more comfortable to work during public holidays. “We will encourage hospitals to manage its human resources accordingly. For now, the decision will not be reviewed,” he said.

Published: 03-12-2014 09:10

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