Nagarik, 31 January
Doctors across the country have taken to the streets to protest the government’s inaction on Govinda KC’s demands and his deteriorating health. The House of Representatives passed the Medical Education bill on 25 January, amidst opposition, without addressing KC’s demands of reforms in medical education. Doctors, united under the leadership of Nepal Medical Association, have begun a relay hunger strike to pressurise the government.
KC is on his 16th fast-unto-death at the TU Teaching Hospital at Maharajganj. His health is said to be critical after not eating for more than three weeks and he has difficulty breathing due to chest pains. Decreasing white blood cell count has put his life at grave danger. The amount of oxygen, glucose, and potassium in KC’s body has also decreased, he has trouble sleeping and is vulnerable to infections. KC needs to be treated in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) but has refused to go to there.
KC has been fasting since 10 January, asking the government to implement the agreement made with him after his 15th fast. But after the government prepared the Medical Education bill in contradiction of the agreement, KC began his current fast. The government claims that the bill fulfills KC’s demands.
Nepal Medical Association says that doctors in major cities like Biratnagar, Dharan, Janakpur, Chitwan, Birgunj, Butwal, Pokhara, Nepalganj, Dhangadi and others have carried out protests in support of KC, and medical professionals working in Primary Health Care Centers have joined them.
On Wednesday, former Chief Justice Sushila Karki visited KC and expressed her solidarity with his movement. “Not fulfilling Dr. KC’s demands would be a loss to the entire nation, and his victory is the victory of 30 million Nepalis,” she said as she asked the government to fulfill his demands.