NMA, govt talks inconclusiveTalks between Nepal Medical Association (NMA) and the government did not make much headway until Thursday,
Talks between Nepal Medical Association (NMA) and the government did not make much headway until Thursday, with the doctors nationwide threatening to go on a strike from Friday to protest against the government’s plan to introduce a law to make concerned doctor liable to pay compensation if his or her negligence is proven behind patient’s death.
Dr Lochan Karki, who represented the NMA talks team, told the Post on Thursday night that although Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel seemed positive about their demands, there had been no agreement to withdraw their strike.
“We want the Cabinet to officially inform us that its Monday’s decision has been withdrawn,” Dr Karki said.
Health Secretary Dr Kiran Sharma had convened the talks with the NMA representatives on Thursday afternoon. Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel joined in later to end the stalemate, but still there was no significant progress.
Health Minister Pokhrel had initially tried to convince the NMA talks team that the Cabinet had not made any decision on the issue of holding doctors accountable for medical malpractice. The latter was not moved, given that Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Bahadur Basnet, also the government’s spokesperson, had announced the decision after the Cabinet meeting on Monday. The decision was taken following the incidents of hospitals and doctors getting accused of negligence for patients’ deaths and other health complications.
NMA, the umbrella organisation of medical and dental doctors across the country, has taken exception to the government’s plan, and threatened to shut down all hospitals across the country if the decision is not rolled back.