Medical Association issues 24-hour ultimatum

Chitwan, October 21

In relation to the vandalism that took place in Chitwan Medical College yesterday, Nepal Medical Association Chitwan today warned that all medical services in the entire district would be halted if the authorities failed to take action against the perpetrators immediately.

Yesterday, the kin of Asha Gyawali of Madhyabindu Municipality-9, Nawalpur,  demonstrated at the hospital almost the whole day before resorting to vandalism later in the evening after Gyawali died during treatment at the hospital on Saturday, blaming the death on doctor’s negligence.

Today, the association submitted a six-point demand and served a 24-hour ultimatum to the district administration, warning that they would halt all but emergency services at hospitals and clinics across the district unless their demands were addressed within the deadline.

While submitting the memorandum, NMA Chitwan Chairperson Dr Prakash Khatiwada called for the immediate fulfilment of their demands, saying they could not wok amidst insecurity. The doctors have demanded immediate action against those involved in the vandalism and those who attacked doctors and students, saying they should be charged with attempt to murder after studying the CC Camera footage and video records during the incident.

Besides, the demands also include formation of a security mechanism to ensure security at hospitals and reimbursement for damage at the hospital from the persons concerned.

While accepting the memorandum, Chief District Officer Jitendra Basnet said the incident would be investigated by the Medical Council, and urged the college to help in the probe. Further, he said the administration was ready to guarantee security at the hospital.

“As those involved in the vandalism have already been held and we’re all committed to take action against them, I hereby urge you all not to resort to a strike at a sensitive place like the hospital,” he told doctors.

Students at the college also condemned the vandalism at the college last evening. “We hereby unanimously condemn the criminal acts of vandalism and assault on doctors at a sensitive place like a hospital,” read a statement issued by Medical Education Struggle Committee Coordinator Prakash Chand today. Chand has been spearheading an agitation lately, seeking reformation in medical education.

According to Chitwan District Police Office DSP Shaligram Sharma, a case was filed against 11 persons in connection with the incident. “Of the total 12 persons held, one has been freed following normal interrogation,” he said.