The Gwarko-based KIST Medical College has been shut for over a week following protest from staff members demanding a hike in salary and allowances. The emergency unit of the hospital also remains dysfunctional.
The last patient was discharged from the hospital on Monday and no additional patient has been admitted since.
The situation spiralled out of control after staffers, except doctors and senior administrators, started boycotting works 10 days ago.
They have put forth a 15-point demand mainly relating to their salary and additional benefits.
Pradip Pokhrel, a member of the agitating group, said the hospital administration had not heeded their demands when they protested peacefully. “We were forced to shut down the hospital,” said Pokhrel.
Pokhrel said the hospital administration has asked them to end the protest before sitting for talks. However, the irate staffers insist that they won’t come to the negotiating table without their demands being addressed.
The protest has also severely impacted interns and final-year exams. “Without patients, we have not been able to practise,” said a doctor doing an internship on condition anonymity, fearing reprisal from the administration. “This is sheer negligence on the part of the administration.”
Students said they had not been able to work even in the emergency ward because the laboratory and other units remain shut.
The KIST College is affiliated to the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University and runs undergraduate programmes including MBBS.
Because of the ongoing protest, the IoM recently cancelled the practical test of its fourth-year students. In its notice, the IoM said the exam was put off until further notice.
Hospital administrators have expressed their displeasure at the IoM dean’s office. “The IoM decreased our seats from 135 to 90. Even the fees were regulated and also paid in instalments,” said Akshya Gautam, senior administrator at the college. “Our financial condition depends on the total number of students and their fees. We’re trying our best to forge an agreement with the staff.”
Gautam said they hope to resume the services soon through dialogue. In 2014, interns and students at the medical had protested demanding canteen and hostel facilities and a hike in stipend.
Source: The Kathmandu Post