Ministry to draft new bill to run five state medical colleges under one bodyExperts suggest proper study and research before forming the bill
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is forming an Integrated Medical Education Bill, 2075, to run five new medical colleges, which will be operated under a single executive body.
The government spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Gokul Prasad Baskota, said at the weekly press briefing on Thursday, that the Cabinet has given its approval “in principle” for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to form the bill.
According to the officials of the education ministry, the proposed medical colleges will be constructed in Surkhet, Butwal, Bardibas, Dhangadhi and Saptari.
Ram Raja Prasad Singh Academy of Health Sciences, which was given approval for establishment in Rajbiraj, Saptari, by the Cabinet in January, will be one of the five medical colleges. The under-construction Geta Medical College is another medical college likely to come into operation under the new bill. In 2016, the government had declared to begin the construction of medical colleges in Surkhet, Bardibas and Butwal from the same year. But the plan did not take off due to various reasons.
Since the two universities— Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University—have been barred from granting affiliations to any more medical colleges after the agreement between Dr Govinda KC and the government, the bill would pave the way to run five new medical colleges.
“As Tribhuvan University and Kathmandu University are not allowed to grant any more affiliations, the proposed medical colleges can now only be established as academies of health sciences. Since running these academies would require separate executive bodies, we are planning to run the five medical colleges under a single executive body,” Hari Lamsal, joint-secretary at the ministry of education, told the Post.
Meanwhile, education experts have said that the government should take a broader approach as the need of medical colleges might increase in the future. A single executive body, according to them, may not be able to run more than five medical colleges effectively.
“Other than the five proposed medical colleges, if the need of more medical college arises, will the same executive body run the new colleges as well?” said Kedar Bhakta Mathema, former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University.
“A proper study and research are required before forming the bill so that it does not turn controversial as the Medical Education Act which was bulldozed by the ruling party against the previous agreements,” said Mathema, who also led the committee formed by the government to prepare a report regarding recommendation on new medical education policy.