Karnali Province requests center to take him to Kathmandu
JUMLA, July 17: Senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging a hunger strike in Jumla for the past 17 days, is undergoing severe respiratory problems. The severity of the condition became clear as the man who had refused any medication earlier appealed to doctors Sunday night to help him.
Doctors attending on him said Dr KC had panicked after going through unbearable chest pain and breathing difficulties. “His condition has worsened.” informed his aide Bishad Dahal.
According to the doctors involved in the treatment, his heartbeat has increased drastically, indicating a severe problem in the heart. The imbalance of electrolytes in the blood has caused instability in heartbeat.
Such symptoms indicate a critical condition, they said and pointed out that his heart can stop functioning any moment.
Despite indications of severe infection in his throat, KC has refused to take antibiotics . Doctors are worried that the infection is becoming serous, hindering his ability to speak.
Furthermore, the doctors said his hands have swollen due to vein infection. He will need to ICU care any moment now.
However, the Karnali Institute of Health Sciences (KIHS), where Dr KC is staging his fast-unto-death in support of various reforms in medical education, does not have ICU facilities.
Provincial govt urges Dr KC be taken to Kathmandu Concerned about Dr KC's deteriorating condition, the government of Karnali Province has urged the central government to take him to Kathmandu and save his life.
Stating that his demands are not directed towards the provincial government, Karnali Province urged that the central government take him to Kathmandu for proper treatment as well as for initiating a dialogue.
Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi said that KC cannot be saved with treatment at KIHS alone.“The long days of hunger strike are eroding his health. We can neither do anything about his demands nor are those demands related to us,” said Shahi . “So we are preparing to make an official request through the council of ministers to airlift KC to Kathmandu.”According to Shahi, representative of the provincial government will meet Minister for Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa.
Meanwhile, expressing support for Dr Govinda KC, the Nepal Medical Association (NMA) chapter in the province is to discontinue all services except emergency from Tuesday.Stating that the government has not expressed seriousness about dialogue with Dr KC, Dr Nawaraj KC, president of the Karnali chapter, informed Republica about the decision.“Although it has already been 17 days since the fast-unto-death started, the government has not even formed a mediatory team to conduct a dialogue with Dr KC and address his demands,” he said.
Supporters of Dr KC have been staging protests and rallies across the country since the past few days to press the government to fulfill his demands for medical education reform.
(Republica correspondents Devendra Basnet and DB Budha from Jumla and Nagendra Upadhyay from Surkhet contributed to the report)