KATHMANDU, Nov 26: Renowned Nepali orthopedic surgeon and philanthropic activist, Prof Dr Gobinda KC, has demanded the immediate removal of Mohan Bahadur Basnet from the post of Minister for Health and Population.
Dr KC issued a statement on Sunday, labeling Minister Basnet as a 'Mafia leader' and said that his continued tenure in office is a violation of democratic values.
Dr KC said, “Rather than penalizing schools that have failed to meet standards and operated unlawfully in the past, it is both illegal and lamentable to exert pressure on relevant government agencies to form affiliations against the law.” He further added, 'This situation illustrates that the Health Ministers under Sher Bahadur Deuba and Pushpa Kamal Dahal are mere puppets of the mafia, and his continued presence in the ministerial role goes against democratic values. Urgent action is needed to relieve him of his post."
Dr KC has accused Minister Basnet of engaging in actions contrary to dignity since assuming the role. “Since taking over the position of Health Minister, he has been actively advocating on behalf of the mafia and openly exerting pressure and issuing threats to the relevant government bodies,” stated Dr KC.
Dr KC has claimed that Health Minister Basnet lacks expertise and experience in health-related matters, further accusing him of not making any efforts to acquire such knowledge. Dr KC claims that appointing him as the Health Minister, by leaders like Dahal and Deuba, has led to further corruption in sensitive institutions like the Ministry of Health, compromising public health. He states, “This is both a political and social offense.”
In a program held at the Trauma Center on Saturday, Health Minister Basnet stated that though Dr KC was a good person, he was being mobilized by a gang. After Health Minister Basnet's statement, Dr KC issued a press release on Sunday dismissing the allegations and also demanding the resignation of the Health Minister.
Dr KC also highlighted various challenges in rural areas, including limited access to health services, unavailability of free medication, a high number of unemployed healthcare workers, instances of labor exploitation, no significant growth in the government health infrastructure, and the continued obligation to operate health centers and hospitals under constraints for more than two decades.
He said as per the Medical Education Act, each province is mandated to have a government medical college or institution completed and operational by 2080 BS. However, this progress has been halted, and although government provincial hospitals meet the criteria to offer programs like nursing, they have not been adequately addressed.
Dr KC has accused the Health Minister of not addressing these challenges, not adhering to standards, and exerting pressure on educational institutions to form affiliations that have operated contrary to the law in the past, demanding for immediate resignation of Minister Basnet.