Medical association calls meeting to find a way out to ongoing doctors’ strike

  • Agitating government doctors provide medical care from hospitals’ premises
- Arjun Poudel, Kathmandu

Apr 11, 2019-

Nepal Medical Association, an umbrella organisation of medical doctors, has called for a meeting of stakeholders on Thursday amid protests by government doctors.

The association said the meeting will seek to adopt a special strategy for the adjustment of doctors serving in the state-run health facilities.

Representatives of government hospitals, private hospitals, medical colleges, experts and other organisations related to health care services have been invited to the meeting.

“The government does not seem to be ready to address the genuine concerns of agitating doctors,” Dr Muktiram Shrestha, chairman of the association, told the Post. He said that officials at the Health Ministry did not pay heed to their suggestions to resolve the problems through dialogue and resorted to using harsh measures instead.

Thousands of patients at state-run health facilities throughout the country continued to suffer on Wednesday due to the ongoing strike by government doctors. Demanding an amendment to some provisions of the Civil Servants Adjustment Bill, which government doctors say hampers career prospects, they have been on strike for the last six days.

A doctor counsels a patient in Bardiya District Hospital. Post Photo: KAMAL PANTHI

The government doctors have said they should be allowed to work under the federal government.

It is estimated that every day about 100,000 patients seek treatment in government health facilities throughout the country. Most patients reach the government health facilities for quality care at an affordable price since private hospitals are expensive.

Meanwhile, doctors serving at Bir Hospital and the National Trauma Centre on Wednesday provided out-patient care from the hospital premises. They, however, refused to enter the hospital buildings.

“We used plain papers to write patient’s history and prescribe medicines,” said Dr Dipendra Pandey, chairman of Government Doctors Association of Nepal. He informed that about 600 patients received out-patient care on the premises of both hospitals.

On Wednesday morning, police used force to open the ticket counter at Bir Hospital and the National Trauma Centre during which Dr Santosh Rai was injured, according to Pandey.

The association has condemned the use of force against the doctors who were staging a peaceful protest.

Published: 11-04-2019 11:09

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