Wednesday, October 2, 2013

UCMS Turmoil: big money poses existential threat to medicos

The situation in the Bhairahawa-based Universal College of Medical sciences appears to be evolving fast, and the rift between the students and the college administration appears to be further widening.

But make no mistakes: this is not a mere rift between a college management and its students. At closer look, this represents the larger rift between the students/employees and the teaching institution/employers and this has forced the medical fraternity to contemplate some existential issues.


Some years back, when the students/employees went on strike on any such colleges, there used to be some kind of settlement eventually without any long-lasting implications. More importantly, the people in administration used to more or less fulfill the demands of the agitators.

But now the times have changed. The colleges are more reluctant to make compromises and some of them have resorted to alternative ways to settle the disputes: from massively bribing the leaders of mother parties of the agitating employee bodies to pull the plug on the strike to a frank use of threat of violence to end the strikes forcibly.

To sum up, while the owners of hospitals/medical colleges are becoming more powerful and arrogant, the students/employees (including the doctors) are increasingly powerless and are expected to behave that way.



Now the predicament of the doctors/medical students: more than 90% of them will have to be educated and employed by one or the other private institution. Now, if the studying and working conditions keep deteriorating like this, a day will come when one will have to enroll in a medical college by paying exorbitantly high amount of money to study in a dismally under-equipped and understaffed condition and then be employed in horrible condition to make a living. The process is already underway in a troubling speed and this portends a very bleak future for the doctors.

While the gains of a victory for students at UCMS may be modest (the demands themselves are very modest to start with), a loss would have immense cost for whole medical fraternity in Nepal. This will set the precedent that no power challenging the big money of the owners of medical colleges will win in such a confrontation. With this, some of the medical colleges where goons are not used so far to terrorize the students/employees will be incentivized to do so and the working conditions for most of the doctors will take a turn for the worse.

This is why the fraternity needs to show solidarity with the agitating students at UCMS in any way possible. Going by the developments so far, the UCMS admin is bent on forcing the students to end the strike without fulfilling any of their demands and use of physical force is also likely. The fact that they resorted to closing academic activities and shutting down the hostels shows their resolve to let the matter linger rather than seek a prompt solution. If the stalemate gets prolonged further, the academic activities like examinations will be certainly jeopardized and that appears to be the intention of the administration.

Overall, there is no reason for the agitating students to be discouraged by the developments so far. Unity and resolve is only thing they (and the whole fraternity) have to fight the odds. If we do not timely resist the transformation of our places of study and work into shameless business enterprises with utter disregard for quality, ethics and decency, it will soon be too late as increasing use of money and muscle power outmaneuvers every sane thing in this country.

No comments:

विजय कुमारको खुशी पढेपछि

जीवन, खुशी अहंकार

जीवनमा अफ्ठ्यारा घुम्तीहरुमा हिंडिरहँदा मैले कुनै क्षणमा पलायनलाई एउटा विकल्पको रुपमा कल्पना गरेको थिएँ, त्यसलाई यथार्थमा बदल्ने आँट गरिनँ, त्यो बेग्लै कुरा हो त्यसबेला लाग्थ्योः मेरा समग्र दुखहरुको कारण मेरो वरपरको वातावरण हो, यसबाट साहसपूर्वक बाहिरिएँ भने नयाँ दुख आउलान् तर तत्क्षणका दुरुह दुखहरु गायब भएर जानेछन् कति गलत थिएँ !


Read more from Dashain Issue

Debating partition of India: culpability and consequences




Read the whole story here

Why I write...

I do not know why I often tend to view people rather grimly: they usually are not as benevolent, well-intentioned and capable or strong as they appear to be. This assumption is founded on my own self-assessment, though I don’t have a clue as to whether it is justifiable to generalize an observation made in one individual. This being the fact, my views of writers as ‘capable’ people are not that encouraging: I tend to see them as people who intend to create really great and world-changing writings but most of the times end up producing parochial pieces. Also, given the fact that the society where we grow and learn is full of dishonesty, treachery, deceit and above else, mundanity, it is rather unrealistic to expect an entirely reinvigorating work of writing from every other person who scribbles words in paper.


On life's challenges

Somebody has said: “I was born intelligent but education ruined me”. I was born a mere child, as everyone is, and grew up as an ordinary teenager eventually landing up in youth and then adulthood. The extent to which formal education helped me to learn about the world may be debatable but it definitely did not ruin me. There were, however, things that nearly ruined me. There came moments when I contemplated some difficult choices. And there came and passed periods when I underwent through an apparently everlasting spell of agony. There came bends in life from which it was very tempting to move straight ahead instead of following the zigzag course.


Read more