A single-judge bench of Justice Prakash Wosti ordered the agitating doctors not to halt the medical services in line with the Essential Services Act.
The apex court order comes at a time when the doctors have been staging a protest against the government demanding reinstatement of former Dean of Institute of Medicine, Dr Prakash Sayami. IoM is a government-owned training institute in the medical sector.
To press the demand, Dr Govinda KC, a renowned doctor, is also on a fast-unto-death which completed its tenth day Sunday.
The Supreme Court order came in response to a writ petition filed by advocate Bishnu Prasad Timilsena demanding resumption of the services at the TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. The TU Teaching hospital has remained stalled since Jan 13. Medical doctors have halted services across the country supporting Govinda KC’s fast-unto-death.
The Nepal Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also urged doctors across the country to withdraw their protest programme and respect the fundamental right of people to avail medical services.
Outpatient departments of hospitals and nursing homes across Nepal have been closed by doctors who are demanding the reinstatement of former Dean of Institute of Medicine, Dr Prakash Sayami, and some crucial reforms, Xinhua reported.
The closure has affected thousands of sick people across the country.
“The closure of the hospital is against the basic principles of professionalism and it has also violated the basic rights to health,” the NHRC said in a press statement.
It also requested the doctors to find alternative ways of protest and immediately resume their services to the people.
Meanwhile, The Nepal Medical Association (NMA), an umbrella organization of Nepalese doctors, has supported the movement and has shut down essential medical services across the country.
The strike in over 400 hospitals across the country has deprived thousands of patients of health services.
Though there is mounting pressure, incumbent IoM Dean Sashi Sharma is refusing to resign as demanded by the NMA and Govinda KC who is on fast.
Supporters of NMA and Govinda KC supporters are saying that Sharma’s appointment is against the law and he cannot bring reforms in the institution.
Meanwhile, 40 doctors were arrested when they were protesting in favour of Ganesh KC and demanding the resignation of incumbent dean of IoM.
Govinda KC has also demanded that the government reinstate former dean Prakash Sayami, stop giving affiliation to new colleges and stop political intervention in the institution.