The main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) has accused the government of trying to dissolve hospitals opened in the name of former prime ministers (PM) Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala and warned of stringent resistance against that.
The NC government had opened Girija Prasad Koirala Center for Respiratory Diseases in Tanahu and Sushil Koirala Cancer Hospital in Banke.
The Cabinet meeting on Monday has refused to keep the two hospitals opened in the name of former NC presidents under the federal government against the proposal of Health Ministry leaving them vulnerable to dissolution.
The ministry had proposed to keep 11 hospitals including the two under the federal government but the Cabinet has paved the way for only nine of them to form management committees.
“We have come to know that the Cabinet has issued formation order for nine hospitals excluding the hospitals opened in the name of Koirala duo. The government is attempting to dissolve two important hospitals. We will not let that happen at any cost,” senior NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel protested.
The Girija Prasad Koirala Center for Respiratory Diseases is in operation in Belchautara of Dulegauda, Tanahu with over 30 beds. “We have already arranged for more than 700 ropanis of land as per the plan to make it the main hospital in the whole Gandaki province,” Paudel pointed.
He claimed that Indian PM Narendra Modi had given words to provide Indian assistance for the two hospitals during the meeting with the then PM Sher Bahadur Deuba, and accused PM KP Sharma Oli of not taking initiative to bring the promised assistance.
He said he will meet PM Oli on Tuesday and ask the reasons for trying to dissolve the hospitals opened in the name of former PMs. “These hospitals should not be dissolved. We will oppose this everywhere from the streets to the House. We are awaiting PM’s response.”
He accused the government of making wrong moves with utter disregard to suggestions of the opposition. “What message does the government want to send by dissolving these hospitals? NC has taken this seriously,” he stated.
Spokesperson at the Health Ministry Mahendra Prasad Shrestha confirmed the government’s decision to keep only nine out of the 11 hospitals under the federal government. “The Cabinet decision is silent about the two hospitals. The government may later decide whether to keep them under the federal or provincial governments,” he told Setopati.