Thousands of patients were deprived of health care services at government-run hospitals across Nepal on Monday as doctors went on strike to protest relocation bill.
The doctors protest the recently passed legislation “relocation bill’’ that would move their jobs to other areas of the country.
Hundreds of doctors, working at government hospitals and clinics, began the protest by halting services except for emergency care on Friday, said Dipendra Pandey, the President of the Government Doctors’ Association of Nepal, an organisation that represents 1,400 doctors.
The doctors were protesting the Employee Adjustment Bill, which seeks to relocate hundreds of government employees, including doctors, to newly formed provinces across the country.
The doctors are being relocated to hospitals across seven provinces.
The provinces were formed after leaders agreed to introduce a federal system in the country to devolve power following the end of a Maoist insurgency in 2006.
The protesting doctors say the bill will diminish their career prospects and prevent them from learning new skills.
“The government assured us in March, saying our demands will be addressed.
“But it didn’t do so. That’s why we resumed our protest,’’ Pandey told dpa.
It is estimated that 200,000 people visit government-run hospitals for health care services every day in the country.