Kathmandu, January 6

Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal has announced that it will halt health services for an hour and stage sit-in in all government hospitals throughout the country from tomorrow.

It said the doctors would stage sit-in protest from 10:00am to 11:00am on hospital premises to pressure the government to address their demands. Today, the doctors staged protest in front of the Ministry of Health and Population.

Talks between GODAN and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Population Upendra Yadav ended inconclusively today.

Dr Dipendra Pandey, president of GODAN, said Minister Yadav was not sensitive towards their demands.

“The government will not hear our problems until we halt health services. So we decided to launch protest. If the government turns a deaf ear to our demands, we will be compelled to halt all services, except emergency,” said Dr Pandey.

Government doctors have demanded amendment to the Employee Adjustment Ordinance, saying it failed to include the provision of doctors’ promotion. According to Dr Rajesh Mandal, executive member of GODAN, 10-year experience is required for doctors to upgrade their level. “If this continues, it would be difficult for us to upgrade our level,” he said.

Doctors have also demanded that seniority order be maintained while adjusting employees in the provincial and local governments.

“A municipality can run 15-bed hospitals. Though such hospitals run under the municipality, ninth level doctor should head such health institution, while the staff who monitors and formulates  policy for the hospital should be of the fifth level,” said Mandal.

GODAN has also demanded that the government relieve Kedar Bahadur Adhikari from the post of MoHP secretary as he was not from medical background, provide administrative training to joint secretaries, and make appointment of vice-chancellor and other high level  officials of National Academy of Health Sciences from among government doctors.