Nepal doctors go on strike over medical education reforms

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KATHMANDU – Nepal Medical Association on Wednesday told doctors in Nepal to shut out-patient departments nationwide in solidarity with a doctor who is on hunger demanding reforms.

Report says an estimated 150,000 people were left without treatment by move in support of KC Govinda, a senior surgeon at Kathmandu’s Teaching Hospital, who is demanding more support for medical trainees.

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The association said that they would also close down emergency if the government did not respond to Govinda’s demands.
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According to the association, the demands are the establishment of an autonomous medical council, medical schools in rural areas and affordable fees for medical students.

“Unless you make medical education affordable, you cannot have skilled doctors; unless there are good doctors patients will keep suffering,’’ Govinda told newsmen from his hospital bed on Tuesday.

He has taken only water for 11 days as he also demanded that some allegedly corrupt officials be fired from Nepal’s universities.

The government has said it would look into some of his demands.

Report says it is the doctor’s fifth hunger strike in six years. In 2009 he called for better safety for doctors in the workplace.

In January 2014 he demanded an end to political pressure on hospital appointments.

The government agreed to look into those demands, but Govinda went on strike again in March after authorities failed to take action. (dpa/NAN)