Doctors in Nepal end strike after government accepts demands for reforms

Thousands of doctors in Nepal returned to work Thursday ending a strike after the government bowed to their demands.

Chief Government Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal said he signed a written agreement with Dr. Govinda K.C., who has been on a hunger strike for 11 days, promising to undertake reforms in medical education and services.

The secretary was assigned by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to negotiate with the doctors supporting K.C. to end the strike that has crippled the health services.

More than 5,000 doctors took part in the action Wednesday. Only emergency services were open across the Himalayan nation as the strike left most people without access to doctors.

The demands included an investigation into corruption allegations lined to medical college permits.

The government also pledged to open up new medical colleges that would provide cheaper education for poor students.

Only three of Nepal's 20 medical colleges are run by the government. The private schools charge exorbitant fees.

K.C. had gone on a 15-day hunger strike last year and resumed eating only the government promised changes in medical education. This week he accused the government of not doing enough.