Govt disagrees with key issuesThe meeting of the Social Committee of the Cabinet convened on Tuesday to discuss the Health Profession Education Policy could not agree on several key points
The meeting of the Social Committee of the Cabinet convened on Tuesday to discuss the Health Profession Education Policy could not agree on several key points, including the status of medical schools in Kathmandu that are awaiting affiliation to run MBBS programme.
Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopaedican at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, has been staging fast-unto-death protest for the past nine days demanding immediate implementation of the policy.
The five-hour long meeting, chaired by Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, did not make any noticeable progress regarding the implementation of the policy drafted by Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led committee.
In the case of medical colleges awaiting affiliations, a majority of them are owned by the leaders and members of various political parties, including Manmohan Medical College of CPN-UML lawmaker Rajendra Pandey and National Medical College of UCPN (Moaist) aide Basrudhin Ansari. It is learnt that Gautam deliberately put aside the issue in the meeting due to the pressure from his party leaders and cadres.
The committee also could not agree on the subject of limiting the medical seats to 100. The committee did, however, agree on some of the points that were earlier excluded by a technical committee led by NPC member Yagya Bahadur Karki which was asked to formulate action plan on Mathema report.
The committee has agreed to set the fee ceiling for medical colleges to Rs 3.5 million.
A source, however, said that the fee ceiling is liable to change, for the human resource and equipment costs are likely to increase in colleges that are located in rural districts. The committee also discussed about the formation of a permanent mechanism which would incorporate the annual inflation in the fees.
Many private medical colleges have been lobbying against setting a fee ceiling, saying that it will put their investments at stake.
The committee also agreed to ask the line ministries to amend their laws to provide a leeway for the implementation of the Mathema report.
Meanwhile, Dr KC said that he will not end his protest until each recommendation mentioned in the policy is implemented word for word.
The government is deliberately trying to shrug off the important issues mentioned in the policy which was prepared by a team of experts, he said.
MPs press for probe into irregularities in medical education
KATHMANDU: Cross-party lawmakers have demanded a parliamentary committee to probe corruption in the medical education sector.
Addressing a meeting of Legislature-Parliament on Tuesday, they said the House should demonstrate that it is committed to controlling rampant corruption in various sectors including health education.
They were responding to media reports that leaders from major parties and Supreme Court judges were taking bribes to decide cases in favour of medical colleges in the country. Millions of rupees is said to have been handed to political leaders and officials from the Medical Council to increase the number of seats in medical colleges. Speaking at the beginning of the parliamentary session on Monday, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa suggested devoting the day’s session to discuss corruption and irregularities in medical education. But the proposal was dismissed after lawmakers from the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML voted against. However, they unanimously supported the call to form a House panel for investigation.