Expressing solidarity with Dr Govinda KC, whose hunger strike on Thursday entered 19th day, government doctors have decided to stop providing services across the country on Friday and Saturday.
Around 1,200 doctors working for government health facilities have said they will attend to patients only at emergency departments.
Though the doctors have said they will halt services on Friday and Saturday, hospitals across the country, including in Kathmandu, had the effect on Thursday itself.
Many appointments were cancelled in hospitals including Bir Hospital which sees patients from across the country. Dr Badri Rijal, president of Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal (Godan) said the government should take responsibility of any incident that might occur due to closure of services.
“Despite repeated warnings, the government failed to pay heed to the demands of Dr KC,” said Dr Rijal. “We are left with no option than to halt services to exert pressure on the government.”
Dr KC began his 10th hunger strike following the appointment of Dr KP Singh as the new dean of the Institute of Medicine (IoM).
Appointment of the dean at the IoM on the basis of seniority is one of the demands of Dr KC, who has also been pressing for the ouster of Tirtha Raj Khaniya as the vice-chancellor of the Tribhuvan University, the parent institution of the IoM. Dr KC is also demanding that MBBS fees be fixed at Rs 3.5 in Kathmandu Valley and Rs 3.8 million outside the Valley, the IoM be granted full autonomy and the Health Profession Education Act be brought into force immediately.
The ongoing talks between government and representatives of Dr KC are focused on the appointment of the new dean at the IoM based on the recommendation of a high-level committee led by Dr Ramesh Kanta Adhikari, former dean of IoM. The team submitted its report on Thursday, recommending new standards for the appointment of deans.
Though the government talks team had expressed hope of a breakthrough later on Thursday, no substantive progress could be made.
Editors rally to fasting doc’s cause
KATHMANDU: Print and digital media editors on Thursday expressed their solidarity to the demands of Dr Govinda KC.
The Kathmandu Post Editor-in-Chief Akhilesh Upadhyay, Kantipur Editor-in-Chief Sudheer Sharma, Kantipur Television Editor-In-Chief of Dil Bhusan Pathak, Nepal magazine Editor-in-Chief Prashant Aryal, Nagarik Daily Editor-in-Chief Gunraj Luintel, Republica Editor-in-Chief Subhash Ghimire, The Himalayan Times Editor Prakash Rimal, Setopati senior writer Narayan Wagle, Barhakhari Editor-in-Chief Prateek Pradhan and Himal magazine Editor Kiran Nepal also met Dr KC at TU Teaching Hospital.
Issuing a joint statement, the editors have said they will not let the issues raised by
Dr KC die. They have also expressed their concern over government’s apathy. (PR)