Nepal Today

Monday, March 4, 2013

NEPAL PLAYS PALESTINE IN AFC CHALLENGE CUP Kathmandu, 5 March: Host Nepal plays Palestine Wednesday in the AFC Challenge Cup Group D qualifier in the Nepalese capital. The match will be the last for both teams. With two wins, Palestine trounced Bangladesh and North Mariana Island in both its outings and leads the Group. Nepal has lost won one match while losing another. nnnn CAPITAL WARMING UP Kathmandu, 5 March: Tuesday’s morning’s temperature in the capital was 9 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 29 degrees Tuesday afternoon. nnnn NEPL 8TH MOST MISERABLE PLACE TO LIVE IN Kathmandu, 5 March: Nepal is the eighth most miserable place to live in with a misery index score of 53.6 and consumer price index of 8.3 per cent, according to the Business Insider, a business news site claiming to have deep financial, digital and media industry verticals and is dedicated to aggregating, reporting, and analysing the top news stories across the web and delivering them free to its online subscribers at rapid fire pace, The Himalayan Times reports.. The misery index was created by noted American economist Arthur Melvin Okun, also credited with Okun’s Law: that for every one per cent increase in the unemployment rate, a country’s GDP will be roughly an additional two per cent lower than its potential GDP. Misery index is found by adding unemployment rate to the inflation rate and assumes that both — a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation — create economic and social costs for a country, meaning the higher the index score, the more miserable a country is to live in. The index score makes the world’s youngest republic slightly better than Namibia, but little worse than Kosovo, whose score is 53.6. Two other SAARC member states too are on the worst 25 list. The Maldives, rated worse than Gaza Strip and better than Iran, ranks 22nd with a score of 40.8. Afghanistan has been placed 16th with the index score of 48.4 and is rated worse than Swaziland by a couple of points. While Zimbabwe is the worst place to live in with an index of 103.3, Mali has been named best among the worst with a score of 36.5. Liberia is second worst place with the index of 85. The reasoning: Most citizens understand the pain of a high jobless rate and the soaring price of goods. The Business Insider totaled the figures for 197 countries and territories — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — to compile the 2013 Misery Index. Results are based on CIA World Factbook (last updated February 2013) data, which estimates figures for countries and territories that do not have reliable local reporting agencies. Nnnn DR, BHAWAN KOIRALA EXPOSES INNER WORKINGS IF TUTH Kathmandu, 5 March: Director of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) Dr Bhagwan Koirala today said he resigned from his post due to multiple obstacles he faced while trying to manage the hospital’s past mess, The Himalayan Times reports.. Koirala, who was appointed on November 18 last year, resigned from his post on Friday. His resignation has not yet been accepted by Tribhuvan University Executive Council. A press statement issued by Koirala said the university teacher’s association and unions kept showing resentment at tighter regulations. At times they spread unfounded rumours to defame the Dean and other authorities and kept exerting undue pressure, reads the statement. “It became extremely painful when some leaders and clean professors started justifying patient referrals out of the hospital,” said Koirala in his statement. He further added there were certain burning issues with financial liabilities of the past, which did not permit him to sign cheques comfortably. He had requested for a special audit , which could not be done. He further added that the authority to decide on financial and administrative matters had always been seized by the central office of Tribhuvan University (TU), against the general government rules and regulations. He said dozens (or more) files of daily procurement have been lying at the central for weeks for approval. The intention behind this was unclear to him, said the statement. He said the precondition for taking charge of the hospital (and Dean’s Office by the Dean) was that more financial and administrative authority would be given to IOM. He further added TU had not given fund for salaries of permanent staff as per the rules, citing that the government had not released the money. In this case, he said it was impossible to generate money from the general public for salary, recurring expenditure and required equipment. “The hospital has started making little more money, but just enough to pay salaries and some recurring expenses,” said Koirala. He added that the concerned authorities and the government had promised to help, but it was not forthcoming. He said he felt it was unjust to not pay the parties for their supplies and to ask them to keep supplying stuff to the hospital. In his statement, he mentioned that the Dean of Institute of Medicine and he were appointed at a time of crisis in IOM and teaching Hospital. He was asked to help rescue the hospital by the Dean and TU Authorities and he had agreed hesitantly because the hospital had a total negative balance of about 66 crores and many suppliers and parties were not paid. The hospital staff had not received their salaries on time for several months. In his statement, he further said there were many important positive changes at TUTH. He said deliberate referrals of patients from the Emergency (and the Outpatient clinics) when the beds were available in the hospital had stopped. That helped strengthen ethical practice and increase revenue. Koirala further added that they had taken legal action against those involved in financial irregularities and those violating discipline. He further said electronic attendance and observation of timing in all work areas had been enforced . He also said the revenue generated by the hospital went up significantly and it became possible to pay salaries on time. The hospital has also scrapped the system of paying overtime for ‘under-time’ work — paying extra for regular, even less work than regular hours — which had saved about seven million rupees a year. He said expenditure in the operating rooms and in the wards went down by almost 20 per cent despite the increase in workload, by tighter regulation and recording of surgical materials. He, however assured he would continue to run the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Centre on at Teaching Hospital. Employee Association at TUTH today conducted a signature campaign stating that the organisation needed Koirala as executive director to clean up the mess. The signatures were later submitted to the Dean’s Office. nnnn


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