KATHMANDU, Jan 4: Accusing the government of ignoring their demands, government doctors have warned of intensifying their protests across the country, including boycotting their duties, if their demands were not fulfilled “within a few days”. They have also said that they will not fill up the adjustment forms prepared on the basis of the Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance (CSAO) to adjust civil servants, including doctors, in the new federal set up adopted by the country.
A gathering of government doctors united under the banner of Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal (GODAN) at the National Trauma Center on Thursday decided not to fill up the adjustment forms. The gathering also decided to stage sit-ins in front of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) in Kathmandu, all seven provinces and local units in the country on January 6.
“We have decided to intensify our protests as the government did not heed our demands,” said GODAN President Dr Dipendra Pandey, “We urge the government to address our concerns through talks. If the government fails to do so within a few days, we will boycott our duties at hospitals.”
Earlier on December 23, GODAN representatives had visited the Prime Minister’s Office and submitted a 14-point demand to the PM’s Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal as PM KP Sharma Oli was unavailable. They had also met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population, Upendra Yadav, and handed him the list of the demands on December 21.
In the list of their demands, the doctors had objected to the recently-promulgated Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance and the appointment of a non-doctor as health secretary. They have also demanded the appointment of vice-chancellor at the National Academy of Medical Sciences (Bir Hospital) among other things.
Dr Pandey said that if the government failed to address GODAN’s 14-point demand, doctors working at government health institutions across the country will resign en masse.
According to GODAN, there are 1,600 doctors working at government health facilities across the country. The records at Nepal Medical Council (NMC) show that more than 21,000 doctors are registered with the NMC.