Congress presses government to address KC’s demands

- Sanjaya Lama, Biplaw Bhattarai, Kathmandu / Ilam

Jan 17, 2019-

The opposition Nepali Congress has drawn the government’s attention to the demands of Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging his sixteenth hunger strike in Ilam, at the earliest.

Accusing the government of ignoring KC’s demands at a time when his health is deteriorating by the day, the party called for resolving the issue by implementing the agreements reached with him in the past.

Organising a press conference at the party office in Sanepa, Lalitpur, on Wednesday, NC Spokesman Bishwa Prakash Sharma accused the government of not being serious about addressing the campaigner’s demands. He also urged the KP Sharma Oli-led administration to resolve the issue urgently.

“The Nepali Congress condemns such tendency, and urges the government to honour the past agreements,” said Sharma.

He said important provisions were removed from the Medical Education Bill due to the prime minister’s double standard. “It is sad that the agreement inked at the initiative of the prime minister was not implemented as per its letter and spirit,” he added.

The opposition said the Medical Education Bill should be implemented in line with the recommendations of the task force led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema, former vice-chancellor at Tribhuvan University.

KC, a senior orthopaedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, has been staging an indefinite hunger strike since January 9. KC resorted to the move after the Education and Health Committee of Parliament endorsed the report on the bill going against the agreement signed with him.

KC had begun his 15th hunger strike at the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in Jumla. He was later brought to Kathmandu after his condition worsened.

Ruling party leader says hunger strike futile Nepal Communist Party leader Yogesh Bhattarai, also a member of the parliamentary Education and Health Committee, dismissed Dr Govinda KC’s latest hunger strike saying that all of his demands had been addressed already.

Speaking at a programme organised in Ilam on Wednesday on the Medical Education Bill, which KC has objections about, Bhattarai charged that KC was instigated by the opposition Nepali Congress to stage another hunger strike.

“As demanded by Dr KC, a Medical Education University is going to be established,” said Bhattarai, accusing KC of launching his hunger strike without studying all the points of the Education Bill.

KC presses the government to sack the office bearers of Tribhuvan University as recommended by the Gauri Bahadur Karki-led probe committee, restore the powers of the TU Institute of Medicine, begin works to open medical colleges in all the seven provinces, and run MBBS classes at the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences at the earliest.

Doctors’ team visits

Meanwhile, six doctors led by Bikash Shah of the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, who reached Ilam on an ambulance, said KC’s health condition had been serious. They said the fasting surgeon should be admitted to a well facilitated hospital immediately. The doctors had brought with them a mini-ventilator as there’s no intensive care facility at the district hospital. KC was admitted to the hospital on Monday.

Published: 17-01-2019 08:02

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