Medical doctors warn of protest over new health secretary appointment

- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu
Communication Minister Banskota tells agitating doctors that the appointment of Kedar Bahadur Adhikari will not be withdrawn

Dec 15, 2018-Medical doctors across the country have warned of a protest against the government’s decision to appoint Kedar Bahadur Adhikari as the new health secretary.  

The Nepal Medical Association and the Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal said on Friday that they will soon announce their protest to exert pressure on the government that has refused to address their concern.  

The two associations of medical doctors have been opposing Adhikari’s appointment from the beginning, arguing that he does not come from a medical background to become the health secretary, as required by the Health Service Act.  

The NMA and the GODAN have said that they will submit a memorandum of their demand to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli before going on a protest. They have already met with Health Minister Upendra Yadav and drawn his attention towards their concern.   Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Banskota has said the government will not withdraw Adhikari’s appointment.

“The appointment was made after assessing the performance of previous secretary,” he had said in a press meet on Thursday, defending the government’s decision.   

He repeated a similar view in his meeting with the joint delegation of the NMA and the GODAN on Friday.

Dr Dipendra Pandey, the president of GODAN, said they decided to go on a protest as the government seemed adamant on continuing with Adhikari’s appointment.

“We strongly oppose the appointment of Adhikari. If a person from a non-medical background can take up the position, then doctors of 11th rank should also be allowed to  become a health secretary,” said Dr Dipendra Pandey, president of GODAN.

Adhikari was appointed the health secretary to replace Dr Pushpa Chaudhary who, according to sources at the Health Ministry, was transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office due to dispute with Health Minister Yadav.

After Dr Chaudhary moved the Supreme Court challenging the government’s decision to remove her, the court has served a show cause notice to the Health Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office.  

Published: 15-12-2018 07:33

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