KATHMANDU, Jan 20: Former Vice Presidents of National Planning Commission, Swarnim Wagle and Govinda Raj Pokharel, have expressed their solidarity with Senior Orthopedic Surgeon Govinda KC who has been staging 16th hunger strike for the past two weeks.
In a statement, Wagle and Pokharel on Sunday urged the government to form a high-level committee to hold dialogue with KC. "It is a matter of concern to us that the government has not paid attention to Dr KC's hunger strike entered its 11th day. To save the life of Dr KC is the matter of urgency for both state and the society," read the joint statement.
Wagle and Pokharel are of view that the government should play a key role in protection of education, health, public transport, social security and environment to achieve the goal of prosperity by adopting the socialism-oriented economy as enshrined in the new constitution.
"It is the government's responsibility to ensure easy access to quality health care and education to each individual," the statement said adding "We believe that the government should address the demands raised by social movements and agitations through dialogue as we are exercising participatory democracy."
Amid deteriorating health condition, Dr KC was brought to Kathmandu from Ilam on Saturday. Since then, KC has been staging hunger strike at Maharajgunj-based Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.
Dr KC's health condition is deteriorating day by day even as the government and parliament continue to ignore his demands. In a nine-point deal signed on July 26, 2018, the government had agreed to address all demands of Dr KC.
Dr KC has already staged hunger strikes for around 200 days since 2012, demanding reforms in the medical sector.
According to the nine-point agreement signed with Dr KC on July 26, the government should have addressed all the demands of Dr KC by September 25. However, the government is yet to honestly implement the agreement signed with Dr KC.
However, paving the way for the establishment of B & C Medical College owned by Durga Prasai and Manmohan Medical College owned by Rajendra Pandey, the Education and Health Committee of parliament approved the National Medical Education Bill on January 9 against the agreement reached with Dr KC.
Three major demands of Dr KC that were included in the nine-point agreement have been ignored in the approved bill. These demands are including the Mathema report in the preamble of the bill, mentioning deadline to phase out CTEVT intermediate levels of medical education, and opening a new medical university.