NHRC urges doctors to end strike

Kathmandu December 2

The National Human Rights Commission today urged medical organisations to ensure that health services in all health facilities of the nation were delivered uninterrupted.

Issuing a statement today, NHRC expressed serious concerns about protests launched by professional organisations, including the Nepal Medical Association, in solidarity with Dr Govinda KC for his fast-unto-death.

Health services, other than emergency, were shut across the country for an hour yesterday and for two hours today on NMA’s call.

NHRC statement adds that millions of lives would be at risk due to such protests that halt health services.

Reminding that the constitution guarantees citizens’ right to health, NHRC appealed to doctors and others to carry out protests keeping professional ethics in mind.

TUTH resident doctors continued to shut all services except emergency today as well.

Hundreds of patients who visited TUTH for treatment were compelled to return without medication.

Over 2,000 patients from across the country daily visit TUTH, which provides quality care at affordable price compared to private hospitals.

Patients at Bir Hospital also suffered, as doctors continued to boycott services in solidarity with Dr KC today. Around 2,000 patients from across the country visit Bir Hospital everyday.

Meanwhile, negotiators   representing Dr Govinda KC and the government failed to reach a deal till 10:00pm on Dr KC’s nine-point demand that includes appointment of Dean of Institute of Medicine on the basis of seniority.

According to Dr Abhishek Raj Singh, who was in Dr KC’s talks team, negotiations between the two sides failed to reach a conclusion, as government did not immediately appoint a new Dean of Institute of Medicine after the current Dean Dr KP Singh announced his resignation.

Dr Singh, who was appointed Dean of IoM some three weeks ago, tendered his resignation to TU’s Vice Chancellor Tirtha Khaniya today.

Dr Singh, whose resignation from the post of IoM dean was also a condition put forth by Dr KC resigned “to save Dr KC’s life”.

Abhishek Raj Singh said appointment of new IoM dean and resignation of TU’s Vice Chancellor Tirtha Khaniya were the two key issues on which the negotiators could not reach an agreement.

According to Singh, the government side told Dr Govinda KC’s representatives that for the time being they were ready to keep the dean’s post vacant and give the authority to the Search Committee to appoint a new dean.

On the question of TU Vice Chancellor Khaniya’s resignation, the government side did not commit anything, said Singh.

Dr KC’s talks team informed him of government’s position on two key issues- but the protesting doctor did not accept the government’s position, said Singh.

He said chances of both sides reaching a deal and Dr KC ending his hunger strike today were slim.

In today’s talks Dr KC was represented by Dr Ligen Maharjan, Dr YP Singh, Dr Jeevan Chhetri, Dr Rajendra Raj Wagle and Dr Ranjan Sapkota, while the government side was represented by Heath Secretary Dr Senendra Raj Upreti and Education Secretary Shanta Bahadur.