Despite widespread criticism, the government refuses to listen to the demands of senior orthopedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC who is on an indefinite hunger strike.
Dr KC is pushing for a National Medical Education Act as per the recommendations of the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led committee.
The Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel has reiterated it is not possible to implement the panel’s recommendations fully.
Dr KC also demands a 10-year moratorium on new medical schools in the Valley. Such schools should have a hospital functioning for at least three years.
Minister Pokharel said in principle he agrees no more medical colleges in the Valley. A commission would take a call on all issues, including the moratorium.
“It is stubborn to say everything should be decided through street protests,” Pokharel said in the Upper House.
“He [Dr KC’ can’t pressure a sovereign parliament to work at his behest.”
The previous government under Sher Bahadur Deuba had issued an ordinance in line with Mathema panel’s recommendation.
The incumbent government has registered a bill on the Medical Education Act bypassing several provisions, which according to Dr KC and the main opposition Nepali Congress, is conspiracy to grant affiliations to the medical colleges operated by those close to the ruling party.
Presenting the proposal of public importance, NC National Assembly member Radheshyam Adhikari said all of Dr KC’s demands aim to benefit poor people.
He argued the ruling party, which calls itself a communist, is working at the behest of a handful of individuals from the private sector.
Adhikari demanded that the government immediately address the concerns of the agitating doctor, warning grave consequences if his demands are ignored.
Ruling party MPs argue Dr KC’s demands—despite being genuine and well intended—in putting forth the concerns is highly undemocratic.
NCP lawmaker Bimala Rai Poudyal said, “We are open to debate in the House and making necessary changes, but we cannot accept pressure put in undemocratic way.”