Kathmandu Spetember 4, 2018
Government has agreed to revise the new penal code as demanded by medical professionals. After a day the umbrella organisation of doctors Nepal Medical Association called strike putting forth its demand to decriminalise “unintended medical errors” that take place in course of treating patients, the Ministry of Health and Population settled to alter “controversial” provisions of the new penal code and send them to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on Wednesday, before it is presented in the Parliament for endorsement.
The concerned Ministry, in course of the meeting with NMA and Nepal Medical Council representatives on Tuesday, agreed to address the demands of medical professionals. The Association has dubbed Sections 230 to 239 of the new penal code “controversial” saying it is aimed to criminalise acts of health professionals that can lead doctors behind the bars, in case of death of patients. Medical professionals have opined that the provisions have to be modified.
They have also demanded to enshrine assaults on medical service providers as “non-bailable offence” in the Medical Professionals and Health Institutions Security Act and Regulation. The NMA has proposed to remove Sections 230, 231 and 239 of the penal code and amend Sections 232 to 238. Medical professionals say if doctors are penalised as provisioned by the new penal code, a culture of defining “life-saving act” may foster as “negligence”, which can prevent doctors from taking risks, particularly in places without proper medical equipment and diagnostic facilities. Medical professionals have, however, decided to continue with their protest programmes until the amendments are tabled in the Parliament.
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