Dr Govinda KC breaks his fast after Saturday midnight deal with governmentThe doctor had started his 19th fast-unto-death from Jumla on September 14 putting forth six demands.
Dr Govinda KC ended his longest ever fast-unto-death on Sunday after an eight-point deal with the government on Saturday midnight. KC started his 19th hunger strike on September 14. Sunday was the 28th day.
He took a sip of juice from one of the patients at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital Maharajgunj to break his hunger strike on Sunday.
The agitating 63-year-old orthopaedic surgeon agreed to a deal at midnight on Saturday after the government agreed to address most of his demands related to medical education.
His 19th hunger strike that started in Jumla on September 14 became the longest one ever since his first protest in July 2012. The record earlier of 27 days was of his 15th hunger strike in July 2018.
The government has agreed to start MBBS and other courses at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences, Jumla, from the next academic session and commence medical education from Geta Medical College in Kailali in Sudurpaschim Province and Rapti Academy of Health Sciences in Dang from Lumbini Province by February 2024.
As per the deal, the government will expedite the construction of the infrastructure to set up a government medical college in Bardibas, Mahottari in Province 2 with a target to start MBBS course by February 2024.
Similarly, the government has also agreed to start the construction of government medical colleges in Doti or Dadeldhura, Udaypur and Illam or Panchthar within this year and expedite construction of Ram Raja Prasad Singh Academy of Health Sciences in Saptari from Province 2.
The other points of agreement include expansion of polymerase chain reaction tests and increasing the capacity of the government hospitals for the treatment of Covid-19 and other diseases. The government has also agreed to allocate adequate budget for Bayalpata Hospital in Achham to help it provide free treatment.
Preparing a draft bill on higher education and an umbrella bill on medical education academies within three weeks with a provision of appointing office bearers at universities and the health academies in a fair manner are other agreements.
The government has agreed to appoint such office bearers on the basis of seniority and performance until a law is in place. An amendment to the National Medical Education Act is also a part of the agreement.
“The agencies under the Nepal government and other concerned agencies will implement the respective points of the agreement,” reads one of the points in the agreement.
The deal doesn’t clearly talk about KC’s yet another demand that corruption cases and properties of former and incumbent commissioners of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse Authority be investigated.
A point in the agreement says respective agencies “will provide support” with regards to issues other than what have been mentioned in the agreement.