Dr KC’s indefinite fast set to face ‘furious protest’Dr Govinda KC, an orthopaedic surgeon at TU Teaching Hospital, is all set to start his indefinite hunger strike on Sunday—the eighth in the last four years—and one of his demands is impeachment of Lok Man Singh Karki, chief commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.
Dr Govinda KC, an orthopaedic surgeon at TU Teaching Hospital, is all set to start his indefinite hunger strike on Sunday—the eighth in the last four years—and one of his demands is impeachment of Lok Man Singh Karki, chief commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.
But a team of doctors has decided to launch a counter-protest, saying that Dr KC’s indefinite fast could cause public inconvenience. Many believe the counter-protest is being orchestrated at the behest of the CIAA.
When Dr KC announced two weeks ago that he would once again go on indefinite fast, the anti-graft body was quick to respond. In a statement, the CIAA had even questioned the sanity of the surgeon. The statement, however, was retracted following widespread criticism.
Dr KC is set to start his indefinite fast from 3pm on Sunday.
Now, a group of doctors, some of who have been charged by official enquiry committees with irregularities and ethical lapses as administrators, is gearing up to counter Dr KC. The group includes Dr Arun Sayami, Dr Ram Prasad Upreti, Dr Ratendra Shrestha, Dr Sashi Sharma, Dr Krishna Kumar Oli and Dr Ritu Prasad Gartoulla. When Dr KC first went on hunger strike in July 2012, one of his demands included action against Dr Sayami. Dr Sharma and Dr Shrestha, who were political appointees as the office bearers of the Institute of Medicine, were later ousted.
Dr Sayami faces charge of his involvement in leaking entrance exam questions in 2009-10.
A commission led by Jay Ram Giri, former education secretary, had even recommended action against Dr Sayami, Dr Upreti and other office bearers. Dr Sayami was dean of the IoM and Dr Upreti was chief of the IoM campus then. “The entire fast is solely targeted towards me, as I am the seniormost person eligible to become the dean again,” claimed Dr Sayami. “But I don’t want to become dean. Also, we have already got the clean chit from the CIAA, and there is no point reiterating the demands that will never be met.”
In case of Dr Sharma and Dr Oli, they were criticised for bypassing IoM’s Faculty Board which took decisions on affiliation issues and reported directly to then TU vice-chancellor Hira Maharjan on granting affiliation to medical schools. This move was against the IoM law.
The CIAA has for long been accused of micromanaging the medical education sector. It has written to the Nepal Medical Council and the IoM, asking them not to reduce the number of seats or provide affiliation to certain
Kist Medical College, promoted by Dr Bal Man Singh Karki, a brother of CIAA Chief Karki, has received “privileged treatment” despite having mixed reputation either as the centre for learning or medical centre, several doctors working at the hospital told the Post.
“The patient flow is too low and the entire college survives on students’ money,” said a doctor at Kist. “Many a time we ask students to pretend they are ill and then teach them, as we hardly receive adequate number of patients,” he said.
In case of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, where a majority of the shareholders are CPN-UML members, the CIAA had written to Tribhuvan University asking it to “make arrangements” to grant affiliation to it.
Recently, a team of experts brought together by the CIAA was involved in preparing question papers of the medical entrance examination of Kathmandu University.
Apart from this, Dr Nil Mani Upadhyay, who had a tainted image of teaming up with private medical schools during his tenure as the NMC registrar, was hired by the CIAA as “medical expert” after his retirement.
“Time and again the CIAA has acted as the NMC [Nepal Medical Council]. There is no option but to relent to its directives,” said an official of IoM.
CIAA Spokesperson Krishna Hari Pushkar could not be reached for comments despite the Post’s repeated attempts.