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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

HODs demand their pound of flesh at TUTH

All over the past year when the TUTH was agitated for end of political interference in the institution, the heads of departments (HODs) had played a crucial role. With revered Dr. Govinda K C at the lead, the respected senior doctors were solidly supporting the agenda.

But when Dr. Bhagawan Koirala was appointed the executive director of the hospital, the sweet story suddenly turned sour. Most HODs were highly reluctant even to adjust to the new reality, let alone welcoming the energetic new administrator.

By now the disdain and even hostility of many of the senior faculties at hospital towards Dr. Koirala is no longer a secret and the public mudslinging on the issue has only subsided with media's preoccupation with new government.

In a clandestine new move, some twelve HODs from the hospital are understood to have (secretly) petitioned the TU officials to accept the resignation of Dr. Bhagawan Koirala at a time when the public is fiercely demanding an immediate reinstatement of Dr. Koirala to the post. In an embarrassing move, some of them are understood to have earlier signed a petition/demand letter demanding reinstatement of Dr. Koirala to the post.

While the political preoccupations of the faculties against Dr. Koirala are understandable, there seems to have occurred a deeply troubling failure of judgment in the fact that they have chosen to altogether ignore that Dr. Koirala was not appointed because of his political affiliations nor were his actions directed by political motive. He cannot just indulge in corrupt activities like most of his predecessors and his moves to improve the health care delivery of the hospital cannot avoid infringing on the privileges that most of the doctors had been enjoying for years to decades. And definitely he cannot be penalized for this at a moment when the institution so direly needs his contribution.

It is a humiliating experience for most of us who had fought against the political interference in the institution that the very people who were earlier so committed against such kind of interference are now hell bent on giving a political color to the wholly apolitical issue. More disgusting is the realization that the motive of many responsible people during the anti-interference protests was rather a change of political powers that interfered in the institution so as to benefit them and not a real change in the system.

If Dr. Koirala is reinstated immediately, this will be the biggest achievement for all who want the end of political cronyism and rampant mismanagement in the institution. If instead, a new director is appointed (that now has to be based on political affiliation, as for all practical purposes, the end of Dr. Koirala's tenure means a failure of merit-based appointment), the same old reign of corruption and mismanagement under political patronage is a foregone conclusion.

This is indeed why the TU and government authorities have to be constantly reminded as to why the attempts to put an end to Dr. Koirala's tenure are utterly irrelevant and counterproductive. Let's hope they will act before it is too late.

1 comment:

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