Deliberation over bill sees fresh controversyThe government’s plan to turn a private medical college into a medical academy has got into a fresh controversy after lawmakers seriously objected to the bill being discussed in a parliamentary committee.
The government’s plan to turn a private medical college into a medical academy has got into a fresh controversy after lawmakers seriously objected to the bill being discussed in a parliamentary committee.
Members of Parliament from the main opposition Nepali Congress and the Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party that supports the government are against the plan to turn the Manmohan Institute of Health Sciences (MIHS) into a medical varsity.
After several failed attempts to get affiliation from the Institute of Medicine under Tribhuvan University, the erstwhile government drafted a bill to develop the MIHS as a deemed university.
The incumbent government on December 25 last year tabled “Manmohan Adhikari Academy of Health Sciences-2015 Bill” in Parliament to establish it as a medical academy.
The school is chaired by Rajendra Pandey, a CPN-UML MP. Also, Dr Bansidhar Mishra of the UML has a controlling share in a cooperative that runs the institute.
After thematic discussion in Parliament, the bill is under discussion at the Parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Elderly Citizen and Social Welfare. The committee has formed a subcommittee led by UML lawmaker Ranju Jha to finalise the bill. However, the panel is taking time owing to serious objections from some lawmakers.
“Can we allow a cooperative named after a great personality like Manmohan Adhikari to make profit in the name of medical academy?” questioned NC lawmaker Jeevan Pariyar, who is a member of the subcommittee. “What if other cooperatives running in the names of Ganeshman Singh, Madan Bhandari or Shailaja Acharya seek to operative as independent medical university or college?”
He said that a bad precedent would be set if the bill is endorsed by Parliament as it is. Pariyar said the subcommittee will meet on Thursday to discuss the bill.
The committee members visited the hospital recently and inspected its infrastructure. Lawmakers argue that endorsing the bill contradicts the Health Profession Education Policy drafted by a panel, led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema, which suggests not establishing new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley for the next 10 years.
“We are against operating any profit-making medical institution inside the Valley or outside,” said NMKP lawmaker Prem Suwal. Our suggestion is that the MIHS should be owned by the local government and should provide free medical services and education to the poor.
"Can we allow a cooperative named after a great personality like Manmohan Adhikari to make profit in the name of medical academy?"
Jeevan Pariyar, NC lawmaker