Govt turns blind eye to Dr KC’s empty stomach battle

  • surgeon on hunger strike: 11th day
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 7, 2016-

Dr Govinda KC’s hunger strike entered the 11th day on Thursday, with his health condition drastically turning critical and his aides saying he might need emergency care any moment. 

“Dr KC’s condition is deteriorating fast. We have positioned all the required emergency equipment should he need immediate medical intervention,” said Dr Dibya Singh, a member of a team of experts monitoring the fasting doctor’s health. 

Dr KC has staged several rounds of hunger strike in the past calling for significant reforms in the medical education sector.

The orthopaedic surgeon at the TU Teaching Hospital had called off his eight 16-day hunger strike on July 25 after the government agreed to fulfil some of his demands. But he went on the ninth round of fast-unto-death 11 days ago, saying the government had failed to translate its commitments into action.

One of his demands that can be immediately addressed is appointment of the dean of the Institute of Medicine (IoM). 

“At least the government can address the issue of appointment of IoM dean; this would have paved the way for starting talks with Dr KC,” said Jiwan Kshestry, a close aide to Dr KC. 

Dr KC has been calling for appointing Dr Jagdish Agrawal, who he says is the most eligible candidate, but TU has refused to appoint Dr Agrawal, saying he is being investigated by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). 

The anti-graft body had asked TU to take action against Dr Agrawal, along with six other doctors, for their “negligence while inspecting a medical college”. The case has been stayed by the Supreme Court. 

Post’s repeated attempts to contact TU Vice-chancellor Tirtha Khaniya went in vain.

Dr KC’s other demands include initiating an impeachment process against CIAA Chief Commissioner Lokman Singh Karki and Commissioner Raj Narayan Pathak “for their interference in the medical education sector” and endorsement of the Health Profession Education Bill.

Amid all this, Minister for Health Gagan Thapa said on Thursday that the government “is serious about Dr KC’s demands”. “But we need some more time because of some practical issues. We are trying to convey this message to Dr KC,” said Thapa. 

Published: 07-10-2016 07:55

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