Nepal Medical Association declares one-day nationwide shutdown of hospitalsNepal Medical Association, an apex body of professional doctors, has announced one-day shutdown of medical services except emergency in all the hospitals across the country on Friday. The association made the decision following the endorsement of National Medical Education Bill by the upper house on Thursday.
Nepal Medical Association, an apex body of professional doctors, has announced one-day shutdown of medical services except emergency in all the hospitals across the country on Friday. The association made the decision following the endorsement of National Medical Education Bill by the upper house on Thursday.
In a statement today, the NMA stated that the endorsement of the bill by ignoring NMA’s efforts including relay hunger strike to save the life of fasting surgeon Dr Govinda KC has left the medical fraternity stunned. “NMA strongly condemns the government’s indifference to save the life of KC and infiltration in the peaceful protest of NMA,” read the statement.
KC is on the 23rd day of his fast-unto-death demanding the government endorse the bill by incorporating agreements reached with him in the past that sought reform in the country’s health education and medical sector.
NMA had been lobbying the government to address the demands raised by KC for the past few days. It said that their protest was to save the life of the fasting surgeon. It urged the government not to create such situation where NMA would have to resort to stringent measures and warned that the government would be responsible for the stormy situation that may arise thereof in medical sector, according to a statement released by NMA General Secretary Dr Lochan Karki.
Similarly, the NMA Chitwan-chapter also wrote a letter to the ruling Nepal Communist Party's Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, urging him to save the life of Dr KC.
"We request you to take necessary initiatives to save the life of KC whose health is worsening," read the letter submitted by NMA-Chitwan chapter to Dahal.
Persuade KC to end his fast: Information Minister
Meanwhile, government spokesperson and Information Minister Gokul Prasad Baskota has said that the people supporting Dr KC should persuade him to end his fast. He said the controversies surrounding the Medical Education Bill have come to an end with the endorsement of the bill by National Assembly today.
“The relevance of the hunger strike is over as both the houses—House of Representatives and National Assembly—have endorsed the bill with a majority,” said Baskota, while announcing the decisions made by the Cabinet today.
NC leaders visit Dr KC
Likewise, following the endorsement of the bill by upper house today, the leaders of opposition party Nepali Congress went to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital where KC is staging his hunger strike.
NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba urged the fasting doctor to end his hunger strike. “Don’t sacrifice your life just because government didn’t address your demands,” he said to KC.
NC had been staging protests at the parliament to pile pressure on the government to address the demands of Dr KC. But the opposition voice was subdued by as the ruling party lawmakers endorsed the Medical Education Bill with a two-thirds majority on January 26. Today the upper house too endorsed the bill with a majority despite reservations from the party.