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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

IOM affiliation fiasco: test of credibility and integrity for Lokman Singh Karki

All in all, an institution that serves thousands of patients each day and that produces a significant part of health manpower including specialist doctors in the country is now at the mercy of a politician, barely literate in anything other than political intrigues and backed by an unscrupulous gang of goons.

With the incumbent Dean Dr. Prakash Sayami stepping down from the post at Institute of Medicine citing 'health reasons' everything is set to change in the institution.

As is clear by now, the real reason behind Dr. Sayami's resignation has been the consistent lack of cooperation and even sabotage by the TU officials who are always looking for a crooked and corruptible officials at IOM as his alternative.

The big question now is: what happens next? In all likelihood, the old days of political patronage, interference and endless draining of the institution are back.

All this, however, has placed the integrity and credibility of one man at stake and he is none other than the CIAA chief Lokman Singh Karki. Having understood that the issue of millions rupees worth kickbacks to University officials and the politicians for affiliation of new medical colleges is an open secret in Nepal, Karki had reportedly halted the process of affiliation a month back by threatening the TU officials, VC Hira Bahadur Maharjan in particular, with imprisonment.

But the apparently instinctive move by the CIAA chief has now proved to be a grave miscalculation. With the bureaucrat-led incumbents about to depart from Singha Durbar, the criminal cartel of three political parties is back.

In particular, the most prominent extra-legal authority in the country led by UML goon chief K P Oli is all set to acquire further power with formation of new government and one of the four medical colleges in line for affiliation appears to be the brainchild of UML party itself. Ironically, Karki was apparently chosen for the post of CIAA chief by Oli as well as the UCPNM chairman Prachanda, both men known as the most brazenly corrupt in the country.

Citing this particular situation in which the potential convicts were choosing their judges, I had raised serious doubt about fitness of Karki as the helmsman at CIAA in one Asia Times article. Karki's moment of reckoning has now come in Oli's case while the same with Prachanda is yet to come.

In this land ruled by everything but law, there is no other authority that can now prevent the downslide of public institutions like IOM and TU Teaching Hospital which lead both the health care delivery system as well as the medical education in the country. Unfortunately Karki will have to bite the hand that has been feeding him now if he performs his duty; and that hand is becoming increasingly powerful by the day.

Though there will be a dog-fight among the politicians as to who will get which post, they have a perfect consensus on one thing: every public institution in the country should be looted to the last penny. With its huge financial turnover, IOM is the center of a nasty dog-fight between the politicians and more importantly, their immoral proxies in the institution.

All in all, an institution that serves thousands of patients each day and that produces a significant part of health manpower including specialist doctors in the country is now at the mercy of a politician, barely literate in anything other than political intrigues and backed by an unscrupulous gang of goons. K P Oli's sense of humor only hides the thoroughly criminal instincts that he harbors. And in all likelihood, LMS Karki will now duly bow in front of that criminal design.

Some of the professional proxies of the criminals will now come to replace the team of Dr. Sayami with smiles while everyone else will be watching the ugly drama from a distance. That is the disgrace; after all, a Professor of mathematics named Hira Bahadur Maharjan is playing a loyal dog for so long for the UML chieftains who appointed him the VC at TU.

In this profoundly disgraceful situation, we are forced to be mere witnesses. Let's see how long the reign of misgovernance rules this unfortunate country. 

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