Nepali doctors join hands in anti-corruption protest

Kathmandu, Jan 23 (IANS): Hundreds of doctors Thursday closed down government and private hospitals in Kathmandu and set up a medical camp on a public ground in protest against alleged corruption in the medical fraternity.

A number of hospitals across Nepal were also shut down to express solidarity with the indefinite hunger strike launched by a senior doctor, Govinda KC, who is on a fast for the past 13 days and whose health condition is said to be critical.

In an effort to provide unhindered medical facilities to the general public despite the ongoing agitation, doctors set up the health camp and provided medical checkup free of cost.

Expressing solidarity with Govinda's fast-unto-death, hundreds of doctors and nurses came out and started undertaking health check-ups in Tundikhel, an open public place in Kathmandu.

Earlier, they had closed down even the emergency services but resumed them after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so.

After the court's order, they resumed the emergency services but later began a mass resignation campaign.

Several government attempts failed as the public and civil society sympathised with Govinda KC.

Govinda KC is demanding an end to alleged corruption in the medical fraternity, sacking of incumbent dean of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hopsital (TUTH) Sashi Sharma and reinstatement of former dean Prakash Sayami.

According to the agitating doctors, Sharma has a crony nexus with the medical mafia.

Hundreds of service seekers and patients visited the public health camps since early Thursday, said Nepal Medical Association (NMA), an umbrella organization of Nepali doctors.

Doctors are camped under the banner of "Doctors With People".

A cabinet meeting Thursday set up a panel headed by Krishna Hari Baskota, secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, to hold dialogue with doctors.

The government has already sacked Sharma from the dean's post, but Govinda KC refuses to budge from his seven-point demands, according to NMA.

NMA also called upon doctors across the country to resign in large numbers, close down hospitals and medical institutions and conduct health check ups in public places.



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Title: Nepali doctors join hands in anti-corruption protest

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