Karnali Academy of Health Sciences starts MD courseThe operation of MBBS classes in the academy is still uncertain despite the institution’s claim of completing the necessary preparation for the same.
Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in Jumla has started conducting classes for the postgraduate (MD) degree under medical sciences.
The Medical Education Commission has allocated five quotas for the programme that started on March 14.
“There are three quotas in general practice medicine and one each in anaesthesia critical care and pediatric,” said Dr Niresh Thapa, the rector of the academy.
According to him, the Nepal government has provided scholarships in all five quotas. Currently, three medical students have joined the MD course while two others are yet to arrive for classes, said Thapa.
Dr Lalit Singh Dhami of Darchula says he feels happy to be a student of the first batch of MD class conducted in the remote region of Jumla. Dhami, who studied MBBS under a scholarship provided by the government, has previously worked in Kailali and Darchula districts for two years.
“I want to work in the remote parts of the country after completing my MD,” Dhami said.
Dr Bed Kumar Chaudhary, a doctor from Kapilvastu who has come to Jumla to join the MD course, is hopeful that the start of medical education will help reform the health sector in the region.
“The health sector in Karnali is in a sorry state. I want to work in Karnali after completing my postgraduate studies in Jumla,” said Chaudhary.
With the initiation of the postgraduate course in Jumla, the residents of Karnali won’t have to spend millions of rupees to get medical education in other parts of the country or abroad, according to Dinbandhu Shrestha, a member of the Karnali provincial assembly.
“The sons and daughters of Karnali do not have to go to other places for medical education any more. It is a matter of happiness for Karnali residents,” said Shrestha.
The academy, established nine years ago, has brought many changes in the health sector of Karnali. Gone are the days when the local people died for want of treatment for minor illnesses. The academy now has all modern health amenities with a total of 75 specialist doctors.
Meanwhile, the operation of MBBS classes in the academy is still uncertain despite the institution’s claim of completing the necessary preparation for the same.
“We have made all needed preparations to start MBBS classes. But the Medical Education Commission is yet to monitor and approve the course,” said Bishworaj Kafle, registrar at the academy.
Dr Govinda KC had launched his 19th hunger strike in Jumla in September 2020. The sexagenarian orthopaedic surgeon had ended the 28-day-long strike in October after the government agreed to address most of his demands related to medical education, including running MBBS classes at the Karnali Academy of Health Sciences. In the agreement, the government had agreed to start MBBS and other courses at the Jumla-based academy from the academic session of 2021.
The fifth senate of the academy had decided to run MBBS classes in principle three years ago. The sixth and seventh senates held in 2018 and 2019 respectively also continued the decision. According to Kafle, the academy has already constructed infrastructures, managed human resources and set up a basic science laboratory with an investment of Rs 20 million for the initiation of the course.
As per the act prepared by the academy to operate MBBS classes, 45 percent of seats have been allocated to students from Jumla, Humla, Dolpa, Kalikot, Mugu, Jajarkot, Bajura, Bajhang and Achham districts. Students from across the nation can compete for the remaining seats. According to Kafle, the academy aims to enroll up to 50 students in its MBBS course.