NMA agitated with doctors’ arrest

Kathmandu, June 18

One day after the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police, in coordination with district police offices, arrested at least 14 practising doctors and dentists from Parsa, Chitwan and Biratnagar, Nepal Medical Association on Saturday held an emergency meeting to respond to the situation.

Earlier, CIB had rounded up 17 doctors who allegedly used fake academic credentials to obtain medical degrees.

CIB, which carried out the investigation (‘Operation Quack’), claims there are many more such doctors who have earned their medical degrees by tampering with their academic certificates or producing bogus credentials.

Nepal Medical Council, the regulatory body established to oversee the qualification and registration of medical practitioners, has already suspended the medical registration of 17 doctors until the court comes up with its verdict.

“Although NMA believes that any one indicted for any activity forbidden by the laws should be liable to punishment accordingly, the arrest of on-duty doctors without warrant from their workplace in an authoritarian style is very deplorable,” said Dr Mukti Ram Shrestha, general secretary at the NMA.

He, maintained that the NMA had objected to the way the police intimidated on-duty doctors by not following the investigation process of the law enforcement agency.

“The government has not complied with the minimum principle of human rights while dealing with the situation. Doctors have been arrested by policemen masquerading as patients. We will cooperate with police to bring the guilty to book provided the government respects laws and human rights,” said Dr Shrestha.

The NMA decided to meet the home minister, home secretary and chiefs of security bodies tomorrow to discuss issues raised at its meeting.

It has urged the concerned bodies not to create panic at health facilities while initiating legal action against the alleged.

“If our concerns are not heard and the government continues to intimidate doctors in the manner that it made the arrests, we will be forced to announce protest programmes tomorrow itself,” warned Dr Shrestha.