Kathmandu, February 19

Government doctors today organised a blood donation programme and distributed masks in a symbolic protest at Maitighar Mandala.

As per the protest programmes made public by Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal on Sunday, government doctors will not attend their duty tomorrow.

“The Ministry of Health and Population didn’t  heed our demands, which compelled us to launch further protest programmes,” said Dr Dipendra Pandey, president of GODAN. More than 30 doctors participated in the protest programme at Maitighar Mandala today.

Government doctors have launched protest programmes expressing dissatisfaction with the recently passed Civil Servant Adjustment Bill, which bars promotion and transfer of civil servants, including government doctors.

The bill has the provision for adjusting civil servants at all three levels — federal, provincial and local.  “Provisions in the bill deprive us from the opportunities for further studies and professional growth,” said Dr Roshan Bhaghat, an executive member of GODAN. “The bill bars us from taking study leave for at least six years after being adjusted in the federal or provincial levels,” he added.

Dr Bhaghat said doctors were ready to work in remote areas, but they should be mobilised by the federal government. There are 24,000 doctors in the country, among which only six per cent are government doctors. “The new bill has no provision for promotion of doctors working as at the eighth level. This means doctors who are working as eighth-level employees should work at the same level till retirement,” Dr Bhaghat informed, adding, “Such a decision of the government will affect the quality of health services.”

Government doctors have also decided to submit mass resignation to the Ministry of Health and Population.