No headway in talks as Dr KC’s health continues to deteriorate

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 9, 2017-

There has not been any breakthrough on addressing the demands of Dr Govinda KC even as his 11th fast-unto-death entered its 16th day on Tuesday, with doctors attending to him saying the fasting surgeon might need emergency intervention anytime as his health is deteriorating fast.

A talks team formed by the government under Education Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha has so far held several meetings with Dr KC’s representatives but without making any headway.

One of the key demands of Dr KC is endorsement of the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill, and there has been a lack of will among major parties to pass it. 

A provision in the HPE Bill aims to put a 10-year moratorium on establishing medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley, which has not gone down well with various lawmakers, especially from the CPN-UML.

The HPE Bill has been in Parliament since September last year. 

Top leaders of major parties had divided opinions during a recent meeting called by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to discuss Dr KC’s demands. Earlier the parliamentary committee on Women, Children, Social Welfare and Elderly Citizens had said the HPE Bill was its priority. But there seems to have been an agreement to grant affiliation to “medical colleges that meet the criteria” before imposing the 10-year moratorium. And this is believed to have come as part of some ulterior motive on the part of political parties to defeat the whole purpose of Dr KC’s crusade against malpractices in the medical education sector. 

Dr KC has strongly warned against granting affiliations to new medical colleges and said he will not end his hunger strike until the HPE Bill is endorsed in the spirit of recommendations by a team of experts under Kedar Bhakta Mathema

Dr KC has said lawmakers should abide by the experts’ recommendations and that there is no need of another medical school in Kathmandu Valley. There have been talks about granting affiliation to the Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Kathmandu and B&C Medical College Teaching Hospital and Research Centre in Birtamod, Jhapa before endorsing the HPE Bill. 

Granting affiliation to these schools will directly benefit UML lawmakers and CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders. 

“The issue of HPE Bill is a matter under consideration in Parliament and is beyond our jurisdiction. Yet health and education ministers have assured [Dr KC]’s team that they will talk to parliamentarians for its immediate endorsement,” said Education Secretary Shrestha. 

But Dr KC’s representatives have maintained that the fasting doctor has been repeatedly cheated by previous governments which have made commitments but invariably failed to keep their word.

Dr KC’s team, led by Dr YP Singh, has repeatedly called on the government talks team to come up with a concrete plan. 

Published: 09-08-2017 07:35

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