Dr KC threatens new hunger strike demanding IOM reform
KATHMANDU, June 10: Dr Govinda KC has announced that he would start a fast unto death again from June 24 after apparent indifference of the Tribhuvan University (TU) toward his demand for merit-based appointments to the vacant posts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and implementation of a probe committee report implicating IOM officials in several irregularities.
Senior professor at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) Dr KC had started a fast unto death on May 14 before ending it in the evening after TU wrote to him informing that it has told the search committee to select three merit-based candidates as per his demand.
The search committee, that was given a three-week mandate, wrote to Vice-chancellor (VC) of Tribhuvan University (TU) Hira Bahadur Maharjan on June 1 seeking term extension after being unable to complete its work owing to the strikes and shutdowns in the run up to the exipiry of the Constituent Assembly (CA). But VC Maharjan has yet to extend the committee´s term.
“We have not received any response from the TU regarding term extension. When we contact him for follow-up, VC Maharjan says that he will respond after deliberating with other TU office-bearers,” said Coordinator of the three-member committee Prof Aravinda Lal Bhumi. VC Maharjan did not take calls despite repeated attempts by Republica.
Dr KC feels that VC Maharjan, who had formed the committee only after Prime Minister Bhattarai instructed him to take immediate steps to break KC´s fast, may not be serious toward the demands of a majority of doctors and professors at TUTH. “We feel that this delay in term extension is a tactic to continue the tradition of making political appointments at the IOM,” Dr KC stated. “I will again start fast unto death from June 24 if merit-based appointments are not made at the IOM by then,” he declared.
Dr KC and other doctors have also been demanding action against the IOM officials implicated in several irregularities by the Jayaram Giri-led committee formed after the 17-day TUTH strike in March 2010.