Private hospitals, doctors protest against Dr KCA day after hundreds of people marched through the streets in the Capital in support of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on hunger strike, another group of protesters, including doctors and nurses led by the umbrella organisation of private medical and dental colleges, took to the streets on Sunday.
A day after hundreds of people marched through the streets in the Capital in support of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on hunger strike, another group of protesters, including doctors and nurses led by the umbrella organisation of private medical and dental colleges, took to the streets on Sunday.
The protestors opposed some of the demands put forth by Dr KC. They urged him to listen to their grievances and find a solution with authorities through dialogue.
Some of the participating doctors and nurses, however, said that they had been “summoned” to the protest rally by their hospital management.
“I didn’t want to come here. But we have been getting texts and phone calls from the management since Saturday,” said a doctor from Kist Medical College, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisal from the Hospital Administration. The doctor said Ashish Thapa, managing director of Kist, had even coerced faculty members to join the event with a threat of stern action, including dismissal.
The Association of Private Medical and Dental College (APMDC) of Nepal led by Dr Bhola Rijal saw the presence of many doctors and health professionals.
Another doctor from the Nepal Medical College, where Dr Rijal is the chairperson, said the college management had been indirectly asking its faculties to join the event for the past two days. The Kathmandu Medical College too issued a notice asking its faculty members to join the event.
Acting Principal of the Nepal Medical College Dr Sunil Sharma, however, said the health professionals who joined the event was completely voluntary and they did not force anyone to join the event. “We respect Dr KC. But his way of doing things are not really acceptable,” said Dr Sharma.
Dr Suresh Kanodoiya, past president of the APMDC, argues that Dr KC’s demand has impeded the development of private medical colleges in Nepal. “I know there are problems. Let’s solve it together,” said Dr Kanodiya. “But you cannot say all private medical people are mafias.”
In a strongly-worded statement, the APMDC has warned that it would form an alternative doctor’s association if the Nepal Medical Association (NMA) supports Dr KC’s cause.
In the forefront of the rally were some of the proprietors of medical colleges, including Dr V Natraj Prasad of College of Medical Sciences, Bharatpur and Khuma Aryal of Gandaki Medical College, who have been questioned multiple times by various reports for their involvement in tampering the number of faculties and beds in their schools. According to a Ministry of Health report
in 2013, both the medical colleges were found to be operating with fewer faculty members and beds than the set standards.
Civil society members express concern
Members of the civil society have expressed concern over government’s apathy towards resolving the hunger strike of Dr KC. A statement issued by 15 civil society leaders and academics, including Nilamber Acharya, Anuradha Koirala, Mina Acharya, Kedar Bhakta Mathema, Kul Chandra Gautam, Jay Raj Acharya, Abhi Subedi, Chaitanya Mishra, Dr Ramesh Kanta Adhikari, have asked the government to hold talks with Dr KC and resolve the issue.
Parliamentary panel to visit Dr KC
Kathmandu: The Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of Legislature-Parliament has expressed its concern for Dr Govinda KC’s indefinite hunger strike. The committee announced its plan to visit Dr KC at the TU Teaching Hospital where he is staging his death fast. A team led by committee Chairperson Sushil Kumar Shrestha is set to visit the protesting doctor at 11:30am on Monday. Dr KC has presented valid demands concerning public health, said Shrestha, but the government had not been listening to him.