Resident doctors at the Institute of Medicine (IoM) have decided to boycott Out-patient Department (OPD) service from Monday to exert pressure on the government to heed demands raised by Dr Govinda KC.
The decision of the doctors comes after Dr KC’s health started worsening. Dr KC, a senior professor at the IoM, is on prolonged hunger strike since last week, demanding full implementation of the Mathema taskforce’s report and other past accords.
“We have decided to boycott the services from Monday. We will not examine the patients at OPD,” Dr Ramchandra Sapkota, president of Resident Doctor’s Association (RAN) at the IoM, told Republica.
He said that the resident doctors, who are postgraduate students at IoM, have been compelled to take tough decision as concerned authorities seem to be indifferent toward the worsening health condition of their professor. He, however, said that the resident doctors will attend to the patients in case of emergency and at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Hundreds of patients at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) will suffer from Monday, as the hospital relies more on resident doctors. Every day over 1,600 patients have been getting healthcare service at the TUTH. Patients from across the country flock to the hospital, as it is renowned for quality care at affordable prices. Dr Sapkota said that the hospital service will only have partial effect as the TUTH doctors will continue providing their services.
According to Dr Sapkota, students at IoM will also start relay hunger strike to express solidarity with Dr KC’s “rightful cause” from Sunday evening. Earlier, undergraduate and post graduate students at the IoM had decided to shun academic activities at the IoM from Monday onward.
Suman Acharya, a medical student at the IoM informed that Dr KC has become too weak and has complained of chest and heart pain on Sunday. “He has become too weak and complained of chest and heart pain,” informed Acharya. Doctors at the TUTH have supplied Dr KC with oxygen after noticing his low oxygen saturation level. They have also been supplying normal saline to Dr KC. Resident doctors at the IoM have been monitoring Dr KC’s health.
Students had also organized motorcycle rally on Sunday evening expressing solidarity with Dr KC who is on his sixth hunger strike for the last seven days. The rally, which began from TUTH at 6 in the evening, ended at Singha Durbar.
Meanwhile, UCPN (Maoist) senior leader and former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday reached TUTH to take stock of Dr KC’s condition. Bhattari expressed solidarity with the demands and reportedly promised to raise them seriously at the four-party meeting.