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Tension grips DoHS after clash

KATHMANDU: Tension ran high at the Department of Health Services in t Teku today after trainees under the Ministry of Health and Population allegedly clashed with agitating health trade unions who have been staging a relay hunger strike on the DoHS premises for the past few days.

The agitating trade union representatives claimed that they were attacked by a group of health trainees and students. Eleven agitators were injured. Om Prasad Upadhyaya, one of the agitating officials, blamed the MoHP for the tension. Various trade unions have been staging relay hunger strike on the premises of DoHS, putting forth their 13-point demand.

One of their key demands is amendment to the Nepal Health Service Act, 1997. They have urged MoHP to table the amendment proposal to the Cabinet for necessary action at the earliest.

“MoHP misinformed the trainees and students, saying they will not get the permanent status if the Act is amended. It is wrong. When the Act is revised, new posts will be created for the students and the old posts which are lying vacant will made available for qualified officials,” he said.

“We will continue our peaceful protest till January 21. If the government does not show any interest to address our demands, we will launch stronger forms of protest,” warned Krishna Prasad Adhikari, another agitating official. Health workers from various districts have been arriving in Kathmandu to express solidarity with the ongoing agitation launched by the trade unions.

Raghu Bista, Joint Secretary at MoHP, informed that the ministry was taking the demands positively and urged them to withdraw the protest.

Bista is leading the talks team on behalf of MoHP.

Earlier, the government had held two rounds of talks with the agitators which ended without any breakthrough.

The agitating unions are Nepal Health Workers Union, Nepal Health Workers Association, Akhil Nepal Progressive Health Workers Association, Madhesi Health Workers Forum, Nepal, Nepal National Health Workers Association, National Health Workers Association, Nepal and Nepal Health Technical Association. Their other demands include appointment of recently promoted officials at their respective posts and implementation of the Health Service Regulations, 2014 at the earliest.

Published Date: Sunday, January 18th, 2015 | 07:17 AM

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