Doti doctors leave district to protest attack on colleagueNepal Medical Association (NMA) has recalled all government doctors deployed in Doti after a District Hospital doctor was attacked by a patient’s relatives last Sunday.
Nepal Medical Association (NMA) has recalled all government doctors deployed in Doti after a District Hospital doctor was attacked by a patient’s relatives last Sunday.
NMA General Secretary Dr Lochan Karki said all doctors have been asked to leave the district to protest the attack on Dr Jitendra Singh.
“We cannot do our job with our safety at stake. If the government will not ensure the security of health workers, we will stop working,” warned Dr Karki, noting that doctors all over the country have been urging to government to come up with a law categorising attacks on health workers and medical institutes as non-bailable offence.
Police has arrested four persons involved in the incident. The suspects have been identified as Hikmat Singh Bista, Bijaya Bista, Tek Bahadur Bista and Arun Mahat. “These attacks are not going to stop until the government takes jail without bail approach to punish the perpetrators,” said Dr Karki.
Doctors across the country had organised a week-long strike demanding guarantee of workplace and professional safety in September last year. The protest was called off with the signing of a four-point agreement between the agitating doctors and the government on September 29.
The government had pledged, among others, making attacks on health workers and medical institutes a jailable offence. To that end, a law drafting panel including the NMA officials has proposed a jail term of up to three years for those persons convicted of the offence.
Dr Karki said there has not been any progress from the government side in the law formulation process.
Health services hit
Doctors’ protest in Doti has severely affected the health care services.
“Except for few general medical exams, we have been unable to offer other services,” said Satish Bista, Chief of District Health Office, Doti.
One of the major services affected by the absence of government doctors is post-mortem service. As the rule has it that government doctor should conduct post mortem exams, in case of deaths requiring autopsy, families of the deceased are compelled to transport the body to Dadeldhura district for service. This has also affected the police work. “We have been unable to make progress in some cases due to lack of post-mortem report,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Shiva Bahadur Singh of Doti police office.