Doctors at the BP Koirala Institute of Health and Sciences of Dharan have padlocked the office of the vice-chancellor.

Doctors agitating for long at the initiative of Medical and Dental Teaching Welfare Society carried out the lockout at VC Dr Gyanendra Giri's office today citing the inordinate delay in addressing their demands.

"Doctors, nurses and other health workers, who were on the frontline during the COV- ID-19 crisis, haven't got any COVID risk allowance so far, and what's more, the officials are quiet about our demands put forth for the good of this institute, which is why we had to resort to the lockout," said the society's Chair Dr Bishnu Pokharel. "Our demands are not new ones, in fact, we have been raising them for a long time. Unfortunately, the institute has been sitting on those demands for all this long," Pokharel added.

The society had padlocked the office of the institute's registrar Dr Guru Khanal about a week ago, seeking the institute's attention towards the need to improve the waste management system there and better facilities, promotion and other benefits for doctors who are serving here.

The agitating doctors have warned of mass resignation if their demands are not met.

On his part, BPKIHS Vice-chancellor Giri said attempts were on to address the concerns of doctors. "Doctors' demands are genuine, I know.

I'm doing everything within my remit to get these demands met by talking to the ministry concerned and the public service commission," he said.

Meanwhile, senior doctors at the institute have criticised the move. Teachers' Welfare Society, an organisation of teachers at the institute, have expressed concern about the padlock.

"This move at a time when the VC is positive towards the demands, and is indeed, in Kathmandu at the moment for the same, is condemnable," it said.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 18, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.