Dr KC on 8th fast amid pressureDr Govinda KC, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), began his eighth fast-unto-death on Sunday, putting forth a four-point demand.
Dr Govinda KC, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), began his eighth fast-unto-death on Sunday, putting forth a four-point demand that includes reforms in medical education and impeachment of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority chief Lokman Singh Karki.
Surrounded by a huge crowd of supporters on the second floor of the Ganesh Man Singh ENT building on the TUTH premises, Dr KC declared that he would not end his fast until the government addressed all his demands. Outside the building, a group of people, heavily guarded by police, were demonstrating against the fast, claiming that the protest would affect the hospital services.
“The threat and fear created by the CIAA will eventually derail the efforts that our past protests were able to secure,” said Dr KC.
He waited for about an hour for a team of five doctors and students led by Dr Jiwan Kshetry, a close aide of Dr KC, who held talks with PM KP Sharma Oli, Law Minister Agni Kharel and Health Minister Ram Janam Chaudhary on Sunday afternoon. The talks were indecisive after the PM and the ministers failed to address more than one of his demands. “For the demands that we can address, there is no need for hunger strikes. For other demands, we cannot address them even if he goes on a fast,” one of the team members quoted PM Oli’s response. On the demand related to the impeachment of CIAA chief Karki, the PM categorically refused to comment, according to Dr KC’s aides.
Dr KC and his team members initially struggled to find an appropriate room for the fast after a majority of the hospital rooms were either locked by the administration or occupied by patients. “We have already seen the consequences of his previous fast. While patients suffer, we have also incurred millions in losses,” said Dr Deepak Mahara, director of the TUTH. “We still humbly request him to not stage
the fast on the hospital premises.”
Among the protesting doctor’s demands are endorsement of the Health Profession Education Policy draft by the Legislature-Parliament. He has also sought amendments to the draft to incorporate free seats for students at government medical colleges and establishment of at least one medical school in each province.
Dr KC, regarding the CIAA taking over the entrance examination of the Kathmandu University School of Medicine citing question leak, has also demanded an impeachment motion in Parliament against the chief commissioner and action against other commissioners. The agitating doctor has asked the government to withdraw the Manmohan Adhikari Academy of Health Sciences Bill. He also presses for implementation of the agreements that the government reached with him in the past.