A deal that disregards Dr KC’s demandA parliamentary taskforce has decided to grant affiliation to medical colleges “that meet the criteria” before a law enforcing a 10-year moratorium on establishing new medical schools in Kathmandu Valley comes into force.
A parliamentary taskforce has decided to grant affiliation to medical colleges “that meet the criteria” before a law enforcing a 10-year moratorium on establishing new medical schools in Kathmandu Valley comes into force.
After hours-long meeting of the taskforce with lawmakers and stakeholders to finalise the draft of the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill, it was agreed that medical schools that have already met the criteria would be allowed to run MBBS and post-graduate programmes.
This comes completely against Dr Govinda KC’s demand that no new medical school should be allowed in the Valley and that the HPE Bill, which has been in Parliament since September last year, should be passed in the spirit of recommendations made by a team of experts led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema, an educationist and former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University.
The agreement reached on Wednesday paves the way for granting affiliation to the Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Kathmandu, which is promoted by CPN-UML lawmakers, and the Birtamod-based B&C Hospital where CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders have their stakes.
The taskforce has agreed to retain Clause 12 of the HPE Bill which states that the letter of intent (LoI) to operate medical, dental and nursing colleges will not be granted for next 10 years. But a sub-clause has been added to Clause 13, mentioning that “medical colleges that have built infrastructure to run medical programmes shall be granted affiliation”.
“The colleges that have already taken the LoI and have built infrastructure will be allowed to run MBBS and post-graduate programmes regardless of where they are established,” said Ranju Jha, chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Social Welfare and Elderly Citizens. “However, the colleges must meet the criteria set by the bill and its preceding regulations.”
Dr KC, who is on a fast-unto-death for the last 17 days, has taken serious exception to the agreement.
“Affiliation to new colleges without approving the HPE Bill is possible only over my dead body,” warned Dr KC. “Only a high-powered Health Profession Education Commission holds the authority to grant affiliation to medical colleges, not the lawmakers. Major changes in the HPE Bill are not acceptable at all.”
According to a lawmaker, the HPE Bill is most likely to be presented in Parliament on Friday.
Fasting doc’s health deteriorating
Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging fast-unto-death for the last 17 days, is at risk of life threatening infections, doctors attending to him warned on Wednesday.
Dr Dibya Singh said the white blood cell count has dramatically decreased, making Dr KC vulnerable to several life-threatening infections.
“Heart rate has been erratic,” said Dr Singh.
A health bulletin released on Wednesday by a health committee monitoring the condition of Dr KC states that he has been complaining of headache, chest pain, muscle cramps and weakness. “The white blood cell count, electrolytes and sugar level are on the lower side,” the bulletin reads. “He could develop life-threatening complications at any point of time.”
Doctors have also alerted health professionals deployed to monitor Dr KC’s condition to stop people from seeing the fasting doctor.