Docs wear black armband, helmet in protest

Kathmandu, October 4

Doctors at Bir Hospital and National Trauma Centre today provided services to patients wearing  black armband and helmet, protesting the four-point agreement between the government and Nepal Medical Association.

The disgruntled doctors have put forth a three-point demand, seeking removal of the provision allowing medical practitioners to work til they reach the age of 65 years.

They have also demanded inclusion of doctors, not exceeding the age of 40 years, in each committee to be formed to resolve issues relating to the health sector.

Similarly, the doctors have also demanded immediate passage of laws as per the agreements reached with the Nepal Medical Association. The protesting doctors have strongly demanded the provision of ‘jail without bail’ for those found guilty of attack on doctors and health centres.

“We are against the provision in the NMA-government deal regarding the new age limit for medical practitioners.  If doctors are allowed to work till they reach the age of 65 years, fresh graduates will be barred from entering government jobs and will be compelled to leave the country. Therefore, this provision should be immediately removed from the agreement,” demanded Dr Kalu Singh Khatri, maxillofacial surgeon at Bir Hospital and president at Doctors Society of Nepal.

“The agreements have been reached but we are doubtful about its implementation as no deadline has been set. Therefore, we want the government to set a deadline for the implementation of the agreement,” Khatri added.

The doctors have also threatened to launch further protest programmes if their demands are not met. They have threatened to halt services for two to four hours each day until their demands are met.