OPD, emergency services crippled

Biratnagar, September 14 :

Health workers throughout the country continue to remain on indefinite strike to press for fulfilment of their 10-point demands. Meanwhile, all medical services except OPD and emergency service at the Koshi Zonal Hospital have been closed indefinitely.

The Nepal Doctors’ Association (NDA) general secretary Dr Rudra Raj Timsina said services in the hospital were closed to express solidarity with the striking assistant-level health workers.

Chairman of the Assistant-level Health Workers’ Struggle Committee, Koshi, Ramesh Karki said the medical personnel of the hospital have also decided to reduce the duration of OPD and emergency services by one hour daily. Members of the struggle committee also staged an hour-long sit-in on the hospital premises today.

Throughout the country, health workers are on strike to press for their promotion, study leave and annulment of the Health Sector Provision that was implemented in 1996.

Health services in Morang are paralysed from September 6, the District Struggle Committee, Morang, said. The struggle committee members continued their sit-in at the District Public Health Office from 10 am to 5 pm. Medical services in 49 sub-health posts, 10 health posts, seven primary health centres and the District Hospital, Rangeli, have been closed.

Meanwhile, the Koshi Zonal Committee of the NDA issued a statement condemning the security forces’ interference in the peaceful strike of health workers.

A report from Taplejung said health services are affected since a week. Patients are badly hit as all medical services except emergency has been closed.

Villagers, who have to travel for four days to reach the district headquarters to seek medical treatment, are left stranded. All health centres in the district have been closed due to the strike of health workers.

A seven-day-long dental camp organised here from August 18 was also affected due to the strike.

Health assistant technicians at the Pokhara-based Western Regional Hospital and health workers of Kaski district, pressing for fulfilment of various demands including their promotion, padlocked the Outpatients Department (OPD) at the Western Regional Hospital today.

This lock-out has forced the patients to go to private hospitals and clinics. The health workers also staged a rally through the city.