Govt docs warn of halting services from today

  • dr kc’s hunger strike: 18th day
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Dec 1, 2016-

Government doctors have warned of halting services across the country from Thursday to press the government to address the demands of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on a hunger strike for the past 18 days.

Stating that the government has failed to pay heed to the demands raised by Dr KC, the Doctors’ Association of Nepal (Godan), an umbrella organisation of doctors working at government health facilities, have said they will not be able to “deliver smooth services” Thursday onwards. 

“We urge all our members to remain alert for the decision that Godan is going to take after 24 hours,” reads a Godan statement. 

There are over 1,200 doctors under Godan and hundreds of thousands of people are likely to be affected if they decide to abstain from work. Resident doctors of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital stopped working from Wednesday. 

Dr KC began his 10th hunger strike following the appointment of Dr KP Singh as the new dean of the Institute of Medicine (IoM). 

Appointment of the dean at the IoM on the basis of seniority is one of the demands of Dr KC, who has also been pressing for the ouster of Tirtha Raj Khaniya as the vice-chancellor of the Tribhuvan University, the parent institution of the IoM. Dr KC is also demanding that MBBS fees be fixed at Rs 3.5 in Kathmandu Valley and Rs 3.8 million outside the Valley, the IoM be granted full autonomy and  the Health Profession Education Act be brought into force immediately. 

Talks held to resolve the crisis and make Dr KC end his fast have failed to yield results. With his hunger strike entering 18th day on Wednesday, Dr KC’s health condition is deteriorating fast. 

Talks teams from the government and Dr KC’s side are now waiting for a report of a high-level committee led by former IoM dean Dr Ramesh Kanta Adhikari. TU had formed the Adhikari-led committee to assess the IoM dean appointment issue and make recommendations so that such situation does not arise in future. 

“Dr Singh has said he will step down as the IoM dean if he does not meet the standard formulated by Dr Adhikari’s team on dean appointment,” said a member of the talks team requesting anonymity. Dr Adhikari’s committee is likely to submit its report by Friday.

Published: 01-12-2016 08:00

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