Today is the 24th day of Dr. Govinda KC Hunger Strike demanding reform in the medical education & health sector. Dr. KC started his 19th Hunger Strike from Jumla on September 14. He was brought to Kathmandu on September 22 and forcibly Police took him to National Trauma Center against his wish to go Teaching Hospital. Later, after criticism, Dr. KC was taken to Teaching Hospital and he is continuing his hunger strike. He has risked his life several times inconsistent with his demand for establishing government medical colleges in different parts of the nation and making medical education affordable to everyone rather than allowing private colleges to mushroom in city areas. Now, his health is deteriorating each day but the government hasn’t shown any interest and initiative to address his demands and end his hunger strike.
Dr. KC’s demands include establishing government medical colleges each in Sudurpaschim Province, Province 2, Gandaki Province, and Province 1, and an amendment to the National Medical Education Act. He is also demanding that the government support Bayalpata Hospital in Achham, which has been providing health care services for free to the people of the region, expand coverage of polymerase chain reaction tests for COVID-19, investigate into corruption in the health sector and end the ongoing prohibitory orders imposed in different districts by making the use of face mask and physical distancing mandatory in public life.
Today, amidst the pandemic we lack sufficient hospital beds and ventilator for the treatment of patients with serious symptoms of COVID-19. Over half a year into the pandemic government hasn’t work to curtail the spread of COVID-19 else than imposing lockdown and giving prohibitory orders. And now the government has failed to respond to the pandemic proactively. Else than the scenario of the global health pandemic, people in rural areas are compelled to die due to a lack of medical facilities. They aren’t getting medical and health treatment due to a lack of sufficient hospitals nearby. Those who can afford to go to private hospitals and pay million of fees are surviving COVID and other diseases while the poor are left behind to die.
Health, education, and food are the basic needs a human needs to sustain life. Our government is dreaming of progressive development and economic welfare but how a country will progress if citizens are deprived of basic health facilities and education. Why the government isn’t putting effort to end malpractices in the medical education sector is still an unanswered question.
Medical students, residential doctors, Writers, politicians except for the ruling party, citizens from different nations have come together in support of Dr. KC and are demanding to address his needs and save his life. Even many people are coming together in support of Dr. KC through a virtual platform. Reform in medical education and health sector is the need of the hour. Ignoring Dr. KC’s demand is encouraging medical mafias meanwhile ignoring the life of poor ones who can’t afford private hospitals for treatment. The government has failed several times in several ways and all we can hope is, it won’t fail to save Dr. KC’s life and won’t disappoint us by setting another example of failure.
Binita is the Editor of MeroTribune. She joined us in September 2020. She handles the role of Public Relations Executive at Prisma Advertising and has been actively working with Xiaomi Nepal. Before Joining Prisma, she worked at Suvadin Media and Research Center for 1.5 Years. She is also a student of Master in Economics at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus. She can be contacted here.
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