Pokhara, December 27

Doctors’ agitation in Pokhara-based Gandaki Medical College completed its third week today.

While the Outpatient Department has been closed for days, admission of patients other than those in emergency condition has been prevented as doctors continue their agitation to press the hospital management to hike their perks, reinstate expelled colleagues and grant permanent status to contract-based doctors.

“As the college administration has turned a deaf ear to our demands for increase in salary that has remained unchanged for the past five years, reinstatement of two doctors who were expelled and permanent status for contract-based doctors, we had no other option than to take to agitation,” said Dr Buddhi Bahadur Thapa.

The agitation had started in the wake of the college’s decision not to extend the contracts of Dr Binamra Basnet and Bibek Ranjit, which, the agitators claimed, was in violation of a provision of the Labour Act 1991, which states that doctors who have passed the mandatory 240 working days will be granted permanent status.

As the agitation launched by 80 GMC doctors continues, various other hospitals in the city, including Western Regional Hospital and Manipal Teaching Hospital, and various organisations and trade unions in medical field have expressed solidarity with the stir.

Meanwhile, at a time when the agitation is on, the hospital has issued a notice stating it will be hiring new doctors in six faculties, prompting the agitating doctors to protest against the hospital’s modus operandi.

The hospital, however, defended itself, saying the notice was issued as part of a contingency plan.