Nationwide strike in health services begins today

The Nepal Medical Association today announced to halt health services throughout the country from tomorrow, stating that the government had done little to address the demands raised by Dr Govinda KC.

Dr KC has been on fast-unto-death at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for the last 10 days. This is the fifth time that the veteran orthopaedic surgeon has gone on hunger strike, demanding that the government implement the past agreements reached with him.

During an event organised on the premises of TUTH, NMA President Dr Anjani Kumar Jha announced that all the health services, except the emergency wards, will be closed across the country from tomorrow. He urged the private hospitals and nursing clinics to stop all the services, except emergency.

Jha added that NMA was forced to take the step, as the government had turned deaf ear to the issues raised for the betterment of the medical sector. He said, “We had been protesting peacefully, as we didn’t want to cause inconvenience to the patients. But since the government has not shown any interest to address the demands, we’ll halt health services.”

NMA also served a 48-hour ultimatum to the government to meet Dr KC’s demands. Jha said, “If the government does not address the demands raised within two days, we will stop emergency services as well throughout the country.”

Earlier, NMA had announced to stage relay hunger strike, but the programme was cancelled this afternoon.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people from different walks of life today visited TUTH to express solidarity with Dr KC. Students of Institute of Medicine organised a motorcycle rally from TUTH to Basantapur. They even performed a street drama at Basantapur.

Resident doctors of TUTH halted all services, except emergency, today. The OPD, indoor and operation theatre were run by the faculty doctors. Academic activities at the IoM have also been halted since March 25.

Health ‘critical’

KATHMANDU: Health condition of Dr Govinda KC has deteriorated further. Dr Dibya Singh Shah said, “His whole body aches and he has been experiencing chest pain and persistent dizziness. His blood saturation level has dropped and he is facing difficulty in speaking. His condition is critical.” According to her, Dr KC’s oxygen saturation is low and he has been on oxygen support. He is being administered normal saline. “His condition might deteriorate any time and he would need emergency care,” she added.

Source: THT