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Friday, March 22, 2013

TUTH: A new era in sight with Dr. Bhagwan Koirala's return

To much relief of many people inside and outside TUTH, the TU and government officials have finally relented to the demands of Dr. Bhagawan Koirala enabling him to return to his job at TUTH, according to sources.

The best part of the return is that the mudslinging going on among interest groups in the institution will now remain a mean exercise among people in leisure and nothing more. With lingering uncertainty about the fate of the post of Executive Director, the vitriolic attacks against Dr. Koirala had a real chance of being taken seriously by many people.

Bhagawan Koirala during an interview, in 2012. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
While every word written in newspapers about the insincerity of the doctors in the institution may not be true, the allegations were not entirely baseless. Accordingly, while Dr. Koirala may not be the 'god' to the institution as depicted in many columns, he is akin to a good surgeon to a moribund patient.

It is a fact that the media caught attention of the developments in the institution from very early on when the cleansing drive of Dr. Koirala had just started. As the no. of newspaper cuttings pasted in notice boards praising him started to increase, people started to complain: here, see this person who makes journalists write all good things about himself.

When the majority of media reports favored Dr. Koirala in the wake of his resignation, his detractors were in the receiving end. But over past few days, their retaliatory pieces had made way to the 'Letter to editor' sections of some of the newspapers. And they were prompt to make magnified copies of those letters and paste them everywhere in the hospital giving an impression that a really ugly spat was going on in the institution.

Now that the authorities have behaved sensibly, though late, Dr. Koirala returns as a winner in the post, not for himself but for most people in the institution. To start with, with his shrewdly timed resignation, he has succeeded in slightly loosening the noose of TU around TUTH by forcing the officials to relinquish some authority to the daughter institution. This was not going to happen otherwise because in the past arrangement, the greatest beneficiaries were the TU officials (recall how the politicians rather let Sajha Yatayat collapse altogether rather than depriving some of their relatives from the 'lucrative' job in the body).

The other great achievement is the government's reported act to release funds for TUTH so that the financially dilapidated institution can finally sigh with relief. Once the government helps TUTH deal with the legacy of past financial crimes, the way forward will be much easier.

At another level, the return of Dr. Koirala gives one more reason for hope: all possibilities of merit-based appointment and unhindered performance of professionals have not yet ended. If indeed the current team of officials completes its term at TUTH, an altogether different institution will certainly emerge. And that is something many of us were desperately seeking.

Incidentally, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that there is a vibrant page in Wikipedia about Dr. Bhagawan Koirala. You can check it out here. For earlier articles about TUTH in this blog, please go to the 'TUTH/Dr. Govinda K C' section of this blog here. 

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