19 med schools operating without registration: MoHNearly two dozen hospitals run by private medical colleges are operating without registration, keeping them outside the purview of the Ministry of Health (MoH) which is mandated to regulate health facilities.
Nearly two dozen hospitals run by private medical colleges are operating without registration, keeping them outside the purview of the Ministry of Health (MoH) which is mandated to regulate health facilities. Each medical college with MBBS and nursing programmes are required to have their own hospitals for teaching and learning activities.
The Health Ministry has begun identifying hospitals being run by medical colleges that are without registration. It has so far collected data of 19 hospitals, of which 11 run MBBS programme with a well-equipped health facilities to cater health services and academic needs.
The problem arose after the ambiguity among the ministries over their jurisdiction, leaving these hospitals function without registering at the Health Ministry.
“It is the duty of Education Ministry and its bodies to regulate medical schools. But they don’t have the expertise to deal with hospitals,” said Dr Sinendra Upreti, specialist at the Curative Division of the Health Ministry.
A medical college first acquires a Letter of Intent—prerequisite for establishing medical schools—before building the required facilities. It will then apply to acquire affiliation from the concerned university to run the MBBS or BDS programmes. Until the government formulate the guiding provisions three years ago, the private medical colleges had been operating their hospitals without registration. The ‘Directives on Establishment, Operation and Upgrading of Health Institute 2013’ clearly states that hospitals run by medical colleges too should be brought under the purview of the Health Ministry.
Following the directives, medical colleges have slowly begun applying for the registration although the Health Ministry has yet to register them. Among the applicants, Biratnagar-based Nobel Medical College has sought hospital status of 911 beds, while Nepalgunj Medical College; Kathmandu Medical College; Manipal Medical College in Pokhara; Kist Medical College in Lalitpur; Universal College of Health Sciences have applied for 750-bed hospitals.
Bringing such hospitals under the Health Ministry’s purview is essential in terms of monitoring point of view and ensuring a better teaching-learning environment in medical schools, Dr Upreti said, adding that the ministry would also help facilitate in solving any legal cases and problems.
Dr Suresh Kanodiya, chief of Nepalgunj Medical College, said the Nepal Medical Council had been regularly monitoring all the private teaching hospitals earlier and they did not bother going to any other authorities. “The health ministry has recently developed the guidelines for bigger hospitals. And we have already applied for the registration,” said Dr Kanodiya, who is also a former president of the Association of Private Medical and Dental Colleges.