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

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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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176 trafficked Nepalis rescued from Indo-Myanmar border

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KATHMANDU — At least 176 Nepali men and women, who were being trafficked into Myanmar, have been rescued by Manipur police and activists from different parts of Manipur, a northeastern state of India, in the last two days.

On their second day of rescue operation, the Tengnoupal police have rescued atleast 20 Nepalis including 5 women and 15 men, from a Hotel in Moreh town,Imphal Free Press, an English-language daily published from Manipur has reported.

The Moreh police have rescued as many as 60 nationals of Nepal including 45 women and 15 men.

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Earlier, over 105 Nepali women were rescued from Moreh and Imphal, the report stated.

The police team have also arrested the main suspect in the trafficking case identified as Madan Kumar Kharel, 52, Hailing from 07 Prithvinagar, Jhapa, Nepal.

The accused is reportedly responsible for bringing 20 of the 40 Nepali girls who were rescued from Moreh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Police also rescued 51 Nepalis from Imphal including 38 women and 13 men during Saturday rescue operations.

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