Hundreds of doctors in Nepal ended a five-day strike after the government agreed to meet their demands for medical education reforms, say sources.
Hospitals and clinics across the Himalayan nation have been shut since Sunday in support of an orthopaedic surgeon who launched a hunger strike, leaving thousands of patients without treatment.
AdvertisementGovinda K.C., who works at the state-run Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, began his protest two weeks ago over the allegedly political appointment of the institution's new dean.
The 56-year-old surgeon had also campaigned for greater transparency and autonomy in state-run teaching hospitals.
"We have decided to end the strike," Lochan Karki, the spokesman of Nepal Medical Association (NMA), told AFP.
"The government has agreed to meet our demands. The government has also promised that a new dean, who is senior and better qualified, will be appointed," Karki said.
"All the hospitals and clinics across the country have already resumed their services."
Karki said the move came after a government negotiating team, led by a top official, promised to form an eight-member panel to carry out a detailed study on the medical education in Nepal.
The government was unavailable for comment.
The doctors had defied an order issued Monday by the Supreme Court asking them to return to work immediately, flouting a ban on strikes in hospitals and health centres.
On Thursday, more than a hundred doctors ran a free health camp at a playground in Kathmandu to combat criticism that the protests had hurt poor patients, although emergency and intensive care services were still open.
Nepal has some 400 private and state-run hospitals and thousands of clinics, which serve over 100,000 patients daily, according to an estimate by NMA official Milan Chandra Khanal.
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