Dr. Govinda KC urges immediate removal of health minister

Kathmandu: Prominent Nepali orthopedic surgeon and philanthropic activist, Prof Dr. Govinda KC, has called for the swift removal of Mohan Bahadur Basnet from the position of Minister for Health and Population, accusing him of being a ‘Mafia leader’ and asserting that his continued tenure undermines democratic principles.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Dr. KC condemned Minister Basnet’s actions, describing them as contrary to democratic values.
He criticized the Health Minister’s alleged interference with government agencies to establish unlawful affiliations, stating, “Rather than penalizing schools that have failed to meet standards and operated unlawfully in the past, it is both illegal and lamentable to exert pressure on relevant government agencies to form affiliations against the law.”

Dr. KC went on to claim that Health Minister Basnet, appointed under the leadership of Sher Bahadur Deuba and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, acts as a puppet for mafia interests. He asserted that the minister’s actions have compromised public health by fostering corruption in vital institutions like the Ministry of Health.

The surgeon accused Minister Basnet of lacking expertise and experience in health-related matters, emphasizing that his appointment has resulted in a political and social offense. Dr. KC further alleged that the Health Minister has openly advocated for mafia interests, issuing threats and exerting pressure on government bodies since assuming office.

Responding to Minister Basnet’s recent statement that Dr. KC was being mobilized by a gang, the renowned surgeon dismissed the allegations and issued a press release on Sunday, reiterating his demand for the minister’s resignation.

Dr. KC highlighted numerous challenges in rural healthcare, including limited access to services, the absence of free medication, a surplus of unemployed healthcare workers, instances of labor exploitation, insufficient growth in government health infrastructure, and the ongoing operation of health centers and hospitals under constraints for over two decades.

Citing the Medical Education Act, Dr. KC pointed out that each province is mandated to have a functioning government medical college by 2080 BS. However, he expressed concern that progress in this regard has stalled, and provincial hospitals, despite meeting criteria for offering programs like nursing, have not been adequately addressed.

Dr. KC concluded by urging the immediate resignation of Minister Basnet, asserting that his continuation in office poses a threat to democratic principles and public health.

The call for action comes amid a growing controversy surrounding the Health Minister’s alleged affiliations and interference with educational institutions.