Day 16 and counting

Resident doctors to boycott outpatient services from Friday

Published On: January 24, 2019 07:36 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 24: The resident doctors at the government-run medical institutions and academics have warned that they would boycott outpatient services from January 25 in support of the hunger strike staged by senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC if the government did not heed his demands for crucial reforms in the medical education sector. Dr KC’s hunger strike was on 15th day on Wednesday.

According to the National Resident Doctors Association (NRDA), resident doctors at various hospitals boycotted outpatient services for two hours on Wednesday to protest against the apathy of the government toward medical sector reforms.

The NRDA said doctors will boycott the outpatient services for two hours on Thursday as well. The resident doctors are also planning to submit memorandums to President Bidya Bhandari, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Oli and top leaders of various political parties urging them to heed Dr KC’s demands and implement the July 26, 2018 agreement signed with the current government.

Resident doctors of the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Bir Hospital and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, in a joint statement on Wednesday said they would stage sit-in protests and submit memorandums to various top officials and politicians on Wednesday and Thursday.

“If the government still refuses to act on Dr KC’s demands, then we will boycott all outpatient services from January 25,” the statement said. “However, emergency services will not be affected immediately.”

Also, with the doctors’ agitation, OPD services will be affected at Patan Hospital, Karnali Academy of Health Sciences and Rapti Academy of Health Sciences, among other health academies. 

The resident doctors had started wearing black bands around their arms at work from January 20 demanding that the government heed Dr KC’s demands and save his life. “After the government did not listen to us, we are forced to take harsh steps,” said the joint statement issued on Wednesday.

There are nearly 500 resident doctors working at the three government medical institutes and academies – TUTH Maharajgunj, Bir Hospital and BPKIHS, Dharan.

Dr KC launched the 16th fast-unto-death on January 9 dissatisfied with the parliamentary committee for preparing ‘mafia-oriented’ Medical Education Bill. He has already staged hunger strikes for over 210 days in the course of his 16 fast-unto-death protests since 2012, demanding crucial reforms in medical sector. 

Meanwhile, Nepal Students Union (NSU), affiliated to the main opposition party Nepali Congress, has continued street protests, putting forth various demands including honest implementation of the July 26 agreement signed with Dr KC.

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