On the 27th day of his indefinite fast, senior orthopaedic surgeon at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) Dr Govinda KC on Thursday ended his 15th hunger strike after signing a nine-point deal with the government.
After the government agreed to his major demand of putting a moratorium on opening new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley for 10 years, Dr KC ended his hunger strike by drinking juice offered jointly by former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University Kedar Bhakta Mathema and Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader Subas Nembang.
“We’ll implement the agreement through Parliament,” Nembang said, praising Dr KC for agreeing that sovereign Parliament is the place to resolve people’s issues. Mathema said the government has expressed commitment to implementing the deal. “This is not an issue of someone’s victory but an attempt to reform medical education,” Mathema remarked.
After the deal that ended his fast-unto-death, Dr KC was shifted to the intensive care unit of the TUTH.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other senior leaders of the ruling NCP had been opposing the demand as it bars operation of the Manmohan Medical College in Kathmandu, where several leaders of former CPN-UML have stakes.
Dr KC started his fresh fast at the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in Jumla on June 30 demanding a medical education bill in line with the recommendations of the Mathema-led task force.
Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel had registered the bill in Parliament to replace the medical education ordinance by removing its major provisions, forcing Dr KC to launch the hunger strike.
KC’s representatives came up with a 22-point note to incorporate in the bill. The government has agreed to take the suggestions to the Cabinet for approval.