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Govt agrees to revise new Criminal Code as per medical professionals’ demand

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has agreed to revise the newly enforced Criminal Code as per the demand of medical professionals who were on strike demanding to amend the law.

The Ministry of Health and Population has agreed to amend controversial provisions of the new penal code and send them to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs tomorrow before they are tabled in the Parliament for approval.

After five-point agreement with the government on Monday on amending the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to medical negligence and recklessness by doctors, the Nepal Medical Association has postponed its phase-wise protests by a week.

The Health Ministry, during talks with NMA and Nepal Medical Council representatives agreed to fulfil the demands of medical professionals.

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The government, in the five-point agreement, has pledged to amend sub-clause 2 of Clause 230 that allows non-licensed medical professionals to treat patients.

The NMA has said Sections 230 to 239 of the new Criminal Code are ‘controversial’ and are aimed at criminalising acts of health professionals, such as sending doctors behind the bars, in case of death of patients.

Both the parties reached an agreement late Monday evening following a three-hour long discussion, over the contested provisions of the Code.

The NMA has demanded revision to the provision to suit the changed context where doctors and health workers are available across Nepal.

According to the agitating doctors, the existing provisions would put the lives of patients at risk if they were treated by non-licensed medical professionals.

As per the proposed amendment, doctors will not have to wait for the consent of patients or their family members, exclusively during natural disasters, road accidents and various plagues.

The proposed amendments also include two additional provisions under Clause 239. Doctors will now be subjected to compensation and jail term only after an investigation finds them guilty. The existing provision grants powers to arrest the doctors prior to any investigation.

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The second provision under Clause 239 also includes ‘jail without bail’ for those accused of attacking doctors and health service facilities.

Sub-clause 1 of Clause 240, which allowed the victim’s family to file a case against the medical personnel involved in the death of a patient without the time limit, will also be amended.

The victim’s family will now have to file a case within six months of the incident.

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Maha Astami being observed today

Pratigya Waiju

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KATHMANDU- Today Maha Astami festival is being observed throughout the country by the Hindus.

On this day, people offer special worship to the goddesses Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Maha Saraswati. They also sacrifice goats and roosters.

People who do not sacrifice animals, offers sacrifices of various vegetables and fruits in place of animals.

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Special Durgapuja and prayer ceremonies are held at the Dasain Ghars. People also worship weapons, vehicles and machines.

On this day, a special Kalaratri worship is held at midnight at the Dashain Ghar of Hanumandhoka in the capital city.

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