February 23, 2019 09:33 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Feb 23: The doctors working at government health facilities across the country boycotted all services except emergency on Friday on the last day of their latest phase of protest against the government’s civil servants adjustment plan.
Services were partially affected at Kathmandu Valley’s government hospitals but the hospitals in districts most of which are manned solely by government doctors bore the brunt of the protest.
“We boycotted all services except for emergency at government health facilities across the country,” said Dr Dipendra Pandey, the president of the Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal (Godan), while apologizing to the public for the disruption in the services. “We had no intention of giving any trouble to the patients but we had no other option to press our demands with the government,” said Dr Pandey.
“We have started collecting the resignations of doctors from hospitals in all districts,” he added.
“We will hold a meeting on Saturday to decide on the modality of the next phase of our protest.”
The doctors said they plan to submit their mass resignations to the government next week.
On February 20, all government doctors went on leave to protest the adjustment plan.
According to the Godan, there are 1,600 doctors working at the government health facilities across the country. However, the Ministry of Health and Population put the number at 1,400.
The doctors launched their agitation opposing the government’s plan to keep them under local governments. They have said they are ready to work on assignments at the local level but should be kept under the federal government.
The doctors started staging protests demanding the implementation of an agreement signed with them by the government on January 13.
According to GODAN, the doctors launched the protests forwarding their 14 demands, issuing a five-point charter. The 14 demands raised by the doctors include objection against Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance, appointment of health secretary, appointment of Vice Chancellor at National Academy of Medical Sciences (Bir Hospital), Federal Civil Service Act and miscellaneous issues.