Health Profession Education Bill: House committee holds discussion with expertsThe Women, Children, Elderly Citizen and Social Welfare Committee of the Legislature Parliament has begun discussion with experts on Health Profession Education Bill, seven months after it was registered at Parliament for endorsement.
The Women, Children, Elderly Citizen and Social Welfare Committee of the Legislature Parliament has begun discussion with experts on Health Profession Education Bill, seven months after it was registered at Parliament for endorsement.
The parliamentary committee held a meeting with experts on the bill last week before it is tabled at Parliament for deliberation.
Discussions on the bill will take place within two weeks, according to Ranju Jha, chairman of the committee.
“Some parliamentarians have asked to hold discussions on the bill only after the local elections saying that they will be visiting their respective constituencies,” Jha said. “But we are determined to begin it soon given its importance in the medical education sector.”
The bill has seen the most amendments and hence it is essential to inform the parliamentarians on the bill prior to the discussion and endorsement, he added.
During last Friday’s discussion, the experts urged parliamentarians to take forward the endorsement process soon for a swift formation of Health Profession Education Commission (HPEC). The proposed HPEC, as
envisioned by the bill, is an overarching framework that will look after medical, nursing and other health-related courses and will be the focal body to monitor and supervise medical schools in the country and ensure their quality.
Among major reforms, the bill proposes a 10-year moratorium on establishing new medical, dental and nursing colleges in Kathmandu Valley. As per the draft bill, the HPEC will have the authority to decide on opening of new medical colleges outside the Valley in areas deemed appropriate by the government.
The commission will conduct a common entrance examination for students before they are enrolled in medical colleges on merit basis.
However, some parliamentarians remain opposed to many of the bold reform measures proposed by the bill.
When the bill was presented before Parliament in September, Prem Suwal of Nepal Majdur Kishan Party had said that the provision to put a moratorium on establishing medical schools in the Valley “is ridiculous”.
He had argued that the population size should be kept in mind before making any decision on granting affiliation to medical colleges.
Many CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) lawmakers, who are understood to have invested in medical schools, are lobbying for more lenient provisions to secure their investment.