‘Hospitals named after Koiralas to be upgraded’

Kathmandu, January 18

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today assured the main opposition Nepal Congress that the  government would not scrap the two hospitals named after two former prime ministers from NC — Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala.

PM Oli, replying to Congress lawmaker Minendra Rijal during the House of Representatives meeting, said the  government had no intention to scrap the hospitals but wanted to  upgrade them.

“I have already discussed this  issue with Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader Ramchandra Paudel and a of Vice-president Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar,” he said.

Rijal accused the government of trying to scrap two hospitals named after the two Koiralas.

PM Oli said he told them that there were some disputes at Cancer Hospital, which had to be resolved. “On the other hand, we need to come with a proper plan to run GP Koirala Hospital too. We need to assure where the funds will come from,” he said, adding that the government wanted to build it as a complete hospital.

In April 2010, the Ministry of Health and Population had proposed to set up 100-bed GP Koirala National Centre for Respiratory Diseases in Dulegauda, Tanahun. It received Cabinet approval in May and the government has already acquired 700 ropani land for the hospital.

In February, the Cabinet had decided to open Sushil Koirala Prakhar Cancer Hospital in Khajura, Banke. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Population Upendra Yadav had inaugurated the out-patient department at the hospital in June. Both hospitals are in operation.

After PM Oli’s answer, Chief Whip of Congress Balkrishna Khand said that although the Ministry of Health and Population had forwarded names of 11 hospitals, including the two hospitals in the names of their leaders, to the Cabinet to bring them under the purview of the federal government, a recent Cabinet meeting approved only nine, excluding the two in the name of the Koiralas.

“GP Koirala played a crucial role in ending the decade-long armed conflict by bringing the Maoists to the peace process, while the constitution was promulgated under the prime ministership of Sushil Koirala,” he said, adding, “If the government is trying to scrap those hospitals the Congress will not keep quiet.”