Government Spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota has accused Dr Govinda KC of putting demands on request of others while starting his 16th fast-unto-death.
“Many of the demands he made have already been fulfilled,” Minister Baskota said addressing the regular weekly press conference at the Singha Durbar on Thursday. “We don’t know much about what KC does about other issues, where and who he meets. I don’t know on whose request he has raised those issues,” he accused Dr KC of carrying agenda of others.
“I don’t know whether these are genuine professional issues or a cocktail of other things. I won’t speak much about this,” he added.
He also called the demands incomprehensible. “What can be seen is he stages fast in Jumla and in Ilam at other times. He says it should be given (sic) and also not given. That is hard to comprehend,” he talked about Dr KC’s stance on opening medical colleges.
“I feel we have met all the demands related to KC. Parliamentary committees have already addressed the issues he raised for reform in medical education,” he claimed.
He asked Dr KC what demands still remain unfulfilled and added that Dr KC should be celebrating at this hour. “I feel this is the time for him to celebrate. What remains unaddressed? I feel they have been addressed,” he stated. “The issues he has raised this time are not all related to the main issue of medical education. It has been linked with many issues. It is all confusing.”
He pointed that CPN lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai, who is in the Education and Health Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR), has already mentioned that 95 percent of Dr KC’s demands have already been fulfilled.
Dr KC started his 16th hunger strike at the vacant building of the Urban Development Project in Ilam Wednesday afternoon stating that the medical education bill passed by the House committee earlier on the day has violated the agreement the government signed with him while breaking the last fast.
He has demanded that the agreement the government signed with him before ending his 15th fast-unto death on July 26, 2018 be implemented to the letter.
He accused the lawmakers of ruling CPN of passing the bill to pay the price of Marsi rice their chairmen ate. “They say the lawmakers are sovereign but they are not. They dance to the tunes of their chairmen,” he stated. “The CPN leaders ordered the lawmakers to pass the bill in favor of the medical mafia to pay the price of Marsi rice they ate.”
The then chairman of CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who are both chairmen of the ruling CPN after party unification, on February 18, 2018 had lunch of Marsi rice at the Bhaktapur residence of Durga Prasai, who owns B&C Hospital in Jhapa, in after a meeting there.
The bill, passed by the committee on the basis of majority despite opposition of four lawmakers of Nepali Congress (NC), has mainly violated three agreements signed with Dr KC.
The provision prohibiting a university from giving affiliation to more than five medical colleges has been weakened in the bill adding that those outside the Kathmandu Valley that have acquired letter of intent (LOI) can be given affiliation by the Tribhuvan University and the Kathmandu University.
B&C Hospital in Birtamode, Jhapa has acquired LOI from the Kathmandu University, that has already provided affiliation to at least five medical colleges, to operate a medical college.
The bill endorsed on Wednesday will pave the way for immediate affiliation to B&C. The agreement mentioned medical colleges to be opened outside Kathmandu Valley will have to comply with the policies to be formulated by the Medical Education Commission meaning B&C would have to wait for formation of the commission, and formulation of policies by the commission to get affiliation.
The second is formation of the all-powerful commission for regulation of medical education and to formulate policies about the sector. Dr KC suspects that the bill passed on Wednesday mentioned Medical Education University to undermine the commission.
The third is the issue of Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) that the government had agreed to phase out within five years as the Health Ministry has already announced it will not recruit human resources with qualification of just certificate level. But the bill passed Wednesday states that the CTEVT will continue until the government so wishes.