Dr KC warns of fresh protest

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 20, 2017-Less than a week after calling off his fast-unto-death after 23 days, Dr Govinda KC on Saturday expressed his serious concern over what he said ongoing efforts by lawmakers to endorse the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill without incorporating some key recommendations made by a team of experts.

Dr KC has also warned of launching another round of hunger strike if lawmakers make attempts to endorse the bill to serve their personal interest. 

“We have learnt that efforts are being made to present the ‘mafia-focused’ version of the bill by the parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Senior Citizens and Social Welfare for endorsement,” read a statement issued by Dr KC. 

Dr KC has also drawn the attention of political parties and leaders to their ommitment.  

Dr KC went on his 11th hunger strike on July 24, demanding endorsement of the HPE Bill, which has been in Parliament since September last year. 

After efforts were made to tweak some provisions of the bill, Dr KC had called for endorsing the bill in the spirit of recommendations made by a high-level commission led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema, an educationist and former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University.

One of the provisions of the HPE Bill calls for putting a 10-year moratorium on establishing new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley.

Some lawmakers have objected to this provision, as it directly affects some medical schools where they are promoters. 

Despite commitments from parties, particularly from the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) that the bill would be endorsed as per his demand, Dr KC was not convinced. But he decided to “suspend” his 11th fast-unto-death on August 15 “in view of the crisis unleashed by floods and landslides across the country”. While breaking his fast, Dr KC had said his fight to bring about changes in the medical education sector would continue and that he would not hesitate to stage another round of hunger strike if the concerned parties dilly-dally with the issue. 

“I am still not convinced that political leaders will take my demands seriously. I have no option than to begin another round of hunger strike if I find something fishy going around,” Dr KC told the Post.  

Dr KC has been demanding that the bill should categorically state that new medical colleges will not be established in Kathmandu Valley for next 10 years. 

The parliamentary committee on Women, Children, Senior Citizens and Social Welfare in its final draft provides leeway for the establishment of new medical colleges. 

Dr KC is currently undergoing treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital. 

Published: 20-08-2017 07:51

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