14/06/2021

Doctors in Dolpa warn of halting Covid-19 treatment

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Hari Gautam (/Author/Hari-Gautam)
Published at : May 25, 2021

Updated at : May 25, 2021 08:06

Rukum (west)

Doctors at the District Hospital in Dolpa have warned of halting all medical services and treatment for Covid-19 patients until they are
provided with the promised risk allowances and facilities (https://kathmandupost.com/province-no-5/2021/05/04/frontline-health-workersdeprived-of-promised-risk-allowances).
On Monday, the doctors released a written statement stating that they would boycott regular duties unless their allowances and facilities fixed
by the government (https://kathmandupost.com/karnali-province/2020/11/23/frontline-health-workers-in-karnali-province-deprived-ofrisk-allowance) are paid to them.
They have requested the Chief Minister’s Office and Ministry of Social Development through the District Health Office in Dolpa to address
their demand.
Currently, five doctors are deployed in the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Dolpa District Hospital. They have drawn the attention of the
provincial government to their demand, stating that they have not received any benefits, allowances and facilities in the current fiscal year.
“The current fiscal year is coming to an end soon but the government has not even provided allowances of the last fiscal year,” said Dr Melina
Hamal, one of the doctors working at the hospital.
Amar Singh Shahi, acting health service manager at the District Health Office, said that the office had already informed the Social
Development Ministry of Karnali Province about the demands raised by the doctors.
The Karnali government had decided to give 100 percent allowance (https://kathmandupost.com/karnali-province/2020/01/06/karnali-setsup-special-encouragement-allowance-to-attract-employees) to the doctors working in three remote districts—Dolpa, Mugu and Humla—last
year. The government is providing 50 percent encouragement allowance and cent percent Covid-19 risk allowance to the doctors working in
seven other districts of Karnali. The provincial government had asked the doctors of Dolpa to choose between Karnali encouragement
allowance and the risk allowance. And the doctors, according to Shahi, chose the encouragement allowance.

Hamal argued that the encouragement allowance, which was offered to attract doctors to work in the remote Karnali region, should not be
merged with the Covid-19 risk allowance.
He said doctors are feeling discouraged as they are deprived of the risk allowance while other frontline health workers
(https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/govt-asks-hospitals-to-immediately-release-risk-allowance-to-frontline-medicos) are receiving it.
“The federal government had decided to provide a 50 percent risk allowance. But the decision has not been implemented. We are deprived of
the allowance despite working round the clock for the treatment of Covid-19 patients,” said Hamal.
According to Shahi, the district health office can issue the allowance as demanded by the doctors if the provincial government instructs them
to do so.

(/author/hari-gautam)

Hari Gautam (/author/hari-gautam)
Hari Gautam is the Rukum correspondent for Kantipur Publications.

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