Even after 11 days of Dr Govinda KC’s fast-unto-death, attempts to persuade him to end it could not succeed Wednesday.
Dr KC, a senior professor at the Institute of Medicine (IoM), sticks to his determination to continue his ongoing hunger strike unless the government takes action against Tribhuvan University office bearers, whereas the government’s talks team expresses its helplessness to do so. Due to such differences, talks between the government team and Dr KC’s representatives held Wednesday could not reach any conclusion.
The talks are to resume Thursday morning. Meanwhile, Dr KC has said a message should go out that there should be an end to impunity for university office-bearers involved in malpractices in medical education.
According to Dr Utsab Timalsina, a member of the talks team from Dr KC’s side, the government does not seem serious over the deteriorating health condition of Dr KC and the demands put forth by him. The government has tasked Chief Secretary Leelamani Paudyal and Vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Govinda Pokharel with talking with Dr KC to sort out the problems.
“We do not find them serious. They told us that they cannot do much with the things on which they agreed Tuesday evening,” said Dr Timalsina.
He, however, informed that the talks teams had not reached any concrete agreement as reported in media. “We did not reach agreement over any of the demands of Dr KC, regardless of what came out in media,” said Dr Timalsina.
The government has decided not to grant affiliation to any new medical college until a study committee led by Prof Kedar Bhakta Mathema submits its final report.
A cabinet meeting held on Tuesday had decided to form a panel to study the demands put forth by Dr KC. The meeting also decided to implement effectively all the suggestions offered by the study panel.
Dr KC has accused TU office-bearers of compelling him to stage hunger strikes repeatedly. He has been demanding action against the office-bearers for repeatedly interfering with the affairs of IoM. “The office-bearers are the reason behind my protest,” KC said adding, “I will not give up the protest unless they resign.”
He said the TU office-bearers, who were appointed by their political masters, cannot serve the educational institution. “They would rather be loyal to their masters than to a public institution or to the nation.”
Meanwhile, thousands of patients across the country were deprived of health care services on Wednesday, as doctors shunned OPD (out-patient department) services to protest the government’s indifference toward Dr KC’s deteriorating condition. Nepal Medical Association (NMA), an umbrella organization of medical doctors, launched a nation-wide strike at health facilities from Wednesday, accusing the government of indifference toward Dr KC’s deteriorating condition.
Doctors attending to him informed that his condition is deteriorating fast and he may need ventilator support any time. “His heart beat has been fluctuating and the level of oxygen is low,” informed Dr Timalsina, the talks team member from Dr KC’s side. He also informed that Dr KC has been complaining of whole-body aches and having difficulty speaking.