Government doctors to halt out-patient care from today

- Arjun Poudel, Kathmandu

Apr 5, 2019-

Doctors serving in state-run health facilities across the country have decided to stop providing their services—except for emergency cases—from Friday to pressure the government into correcting a provision of the employee adjustment bill that keeps them under the jurisdiction of the local level. Protesting doctors say they will not resume work unless their demands are met.

“Except in Bara and Parsa District, government doctors serving in government health facilities across the country will not tend to patients in the out-patient department,” Dr Dipendra Pandey, chairman of the Government Doctors Association of Nepal, told the Post. He said that his association was forced to take the decision, as the deadline given by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was over on Monday, and promises were not met.

The agitating doctors had previously postponed their protests following assurance from the PM that he would address their grievances. The association has been protesting for a month demanding an amendment to the employee adjustment bill that has a draft provision to place doctors under the local administration. The doctors want to work under the federal government.

Thousands of patients, especially those who cannot afford costly treatment at private health facilities, will now be deprived of medical care. Most patients rely on government health facilities for treatment as they provide services at rates cheaper than private hospitals and nursing homes.

More than 1,400 doctors work at government health facilities, which include primary health care centres, as well as district, regional, zonal and central hospitals.

GODAN is of the opinion that doctors’ progress will be hampered if they are supervised by the local level. The organisation said that doctors serving in state health institutions were ready to work anywhere as decided by the ministry, but they should be posted under the federal government.

Published: 05-04-2019 10:58

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