Human Rights Commission demands uninterrupted healthcare services, urges against shutdowns

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has appealed to everyone to refrain from assaulting or displaying disrespectful behavior towards healthcare professionals, and to desist from causing any damage to the physical infrastructure of healthcare facilities under any circumstances.

The NHRC also calls upon the government, healthcare workers, and all stakeholders to avoid disrupting essential treatment services through protests or strikes, emphasizing the need to ensure every citizen’s right to access medical care.

In recent times, there has been a disturbing increase in incidents of attacks and misconduct towards doctors working at various hospitals in Chitwan, Kaski, Makawanpur, and Lamjung. Also, instances of vandalism at healthcare institutions have also occurred. As a result, patients are experiencing significant difficulties in accessing treatment due to healthcare professionals initiating demonstrations, which have led to the suspension of all treatment services except for emergency cases.

A press release issued today by NHRC Spokesperson Dr Tikaram Pokharel reads that the NHRC has been actively engaged in ongoing monitoring efforts through various channels. “These efforts are focused on assessing the security measures in place for doctors, ensuring the uninterrupted provision of healthcare services, and addressing the challenges being encountered by patients,” the statement reads.

The NHRC carried out monitoring of incidents of manhandling upon doctors at Sancho Hospital, Hetauda, on September 10, assault on doctors at Lamjung Hospital on September 24, manhandling and misbehaving with doctors at Manipal Hospital in Pokhara on September 25. 

In course of monitoring the latest incident at Manipal Hospital, it found that relatives of a patient at Manipal Hospital assaulted and misbehaved on doctors and vandalized physical infrastructures of the hospital after the patient died in course of treatment in the hospital, shared the NHRC. 

Similarly, security personnel also misbehaved with doctors in the incident, reads the press statement. The NHRC further said the patients have been deprived of getting treatment services after doctors launched agitation by closing all services except emergency on September 26 and 27, demanding peace and security as well as legal action against those involved in the incident.