The row over the appointment of the Dean of the Institute of Medicine (IoM), Tribhuvan University, is finally over. Due to the political appointment of the previous dean it was opposed by the doctors who wanted the appointment to be apolitical in nature. Instead, he was appointed taking his political affiliation into consideration which was stiffly denounced by the doctors who wanted no political leanings to be made the basis for making the appointments. Incidentally, the newly appointed dean was chosen on the basis of merit, and he also happens to be one of the senior-most doctors, and, by all accounts, he is competent and an apt candidate for the job. Much of the credit for this development goes rightly to Dr. Govinda KC, who had been on a fast-onto-death for the last six days, and was all for the appointment of the dean on the basis of merit. The doctors who supported Dr. KC had even declared closing all—save emergency and indoor services—of all the health institutions throughout the country for two days. This was a drastic step taken by the Nepal Medical Association, and, no doubt thousands of patients, many of whom needed urgent medical treatment, suffered because of this and sympathies go towards their plight.
Dr. KC, who ended his fast after the appointment of the new dean, should be lauded for the steadfast stand he took throughout the episode. He was even ready to sacrifice his life and was a crusader for the cause which was indeed just, and his conviction and determination was recognized, and the government eventually had to back down and make the new appointment of the IoM Dean. Incidentally, he had also gone on a four-day fast-onto-death from July 5-8 so that apolitical appointments were made in the IoM. Now Dr. KC has become a hero of sorts as the government has owned up making the unfair appointment at the institute. Now, to the great relief of all, the services have resumed in the TU Teaching Hospital (TUTH) and other health institutions. It is indeed unfortunate that Dr. KC had to take such a drastic step as the fast-onto-death. Still, the TUTH, as is well known, is heavily politicized with those affiliated to the various political parties receiving posh appointments.
Now that this present strife in the medical sector has settled down, albeit belatedly, all concerned stakeholders need to commit themselves so that such measures as the closing down of the health sector is not repeated in the future. Meanwhile, the new dean Dr. Prakash Sayami has much responsibility reposed on him. He should see to it that the health services remains apolitical and should receive cooperation from all while dispensing his duties. There are many cases of the health personnel pleasing their bosses from political parties to be appointed in lucrative posts and transfers. The health services are for serving the people, and this should not be taken otherwise. It is sincerely hoped that people like Dr. Govinda KC will not have to resort to the same step in the future, that is to say, merit and seniority based appointments ought to be made in every sector, and not through political affiliations.
The taxpayers need to be respected by the state, and that would be acknowledgement of their valuable contributions. But, here the taxpayers are not given the due credit for abiding by the law of the land. Of course, there are unscrupulous people who evade the taxes. The VAT scam led to the loss of millions in revenue for the government. Reforms in tax laws must be made so that the taxpayers would be honest and not evade the taxes. The government seems to have finally woken up to the reality that the taxpayers generate a chunk of the revenue which is necessary to fuel the development and other activities in the country.
The government has plans to honour large
taxpayers. It intends to encourage self-compliance and, thereby, increase the revenue mobilisation
of the government. There are plans to provide
special treatment to the top taxpayers. This might
be a small beginning, but it is recognising the
taxpayers. In the meantime, the government
seems to be serious only on the mobilisation aspect, but not in the right use of the funds for the people’s welfare.