Dr Govinda KC, whose fast-unto-death has prompted doctors across the country to demand reforms in medical sector, has refused to end his hunger strike.
After the government on Tuesday decided not to grant the Institute of Medicine (IoM)’s affiliations to new medical colleges before putting in place a medical education policy, hope rose that Dr KC would end his hunger strike and doctors would return to their works.
But, Dr KC on Wednesday said the decision was ‘insufficient’.
Dr KC told journalists that he would end his fifth fast-unto-death only when the government fires the Tribhuvan University (TU) officials, who initiated the IoM affiliation process apparently at the behest of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Yadav said she would not fire any TU officials.
Dr KC has been on a fast-unto-death since 22 March, demanding implementation of past agreements reached between him and the government.
In the past, the government had agreed to allow the IoM affiliation process only after passing a policy to this regard. A panel led by education expert Kedar Bhakta Mathema was also formed to formulate the policy. But, the TU officials initiated the affiliation process before the Mathema panel completed its task, prompting Dr KC to go on a hunger strike.
On Tuesday, an emergency cabinet meeting had also instructed Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel and National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice Chair Govinda Pokharel to address other demands raised by Dr KC.
But, Dr KC says the TU officials have always ignored agreements between him and the government and he does not want to end his strike without their dismissal this time around.
To put pressure on the government to address Dr KC’s demands, doctors affiliated with Nepal Medical Association, which is an umbrella body of doctor association, have stopped working at the OPDs across the country from Wednesday. But, Dr KC has criticized the NMA’s strike, saying he does not want to see patients suffer because of him.
Resident doctors at the TU teaching hospital, where Dr KC is a senior professor of orthopedics, have already stopped providing service.