Medical Education Bill likely to pass this winter sessionThe Education and Health Committee of Parliament has assured to endorse the Medical Education Bill as soon as the House opens for winter session.
The Education and Health Committee of Parliament has assured to endorse the Medical Education Bill as soon as the House opens for winter session.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Thapa, also a member of the committee, on Sunday tweeted, “The committee has decided to table the report on Medical Education Bill when the parliament opens for the winter session. The committee will start the final discussion on the bill from November 25.”
The committee had failed to pass the bill in the previous session, citing inadequate discussion.
“We are close to preparing the final report of the bill and table it in the House. We are determined to pass the bill this time,” Nepal Communist Party lawmaker and the committee member Khagaraj Adhikari told the Post.
The bill is due to tabled in Parliament after a movement spearheaded by Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopaedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, demanding reforms in the country’s medical education and health care system.
Since 2012, Dr KC has staged indefinite hunger strike for 15 times, pressing the demands, including a 10 year-moratorium on establishing medical colleges inside the Kathmandu Valley, scholarships in government-run medical colleges, setting up at least one state-run teaching hospital in each province, and granting teaching permit to only those hospitals that have served for at least three years.
The committee plans to come up with a final report on the bill by incorporating the suggestions of stakeholders and experts before the winter session starts.
The date for the winter session has not been announced yet.
“The bill needs to accumulate concerns of all the concerned stakeholders. Some changes in topics like medical entrance, admission fees and affiliation to colleges can be made with the recommendations of experts, provided they are better than the ones mentioned in the demands of Dr KC,” said Adhikari.
Meanwhile, Dr KC has said that he will not accept any changes in the bill. “The committee might find the changes better for them, but they will never be better for the public. If the government was so concerned about making required changes in the medical and education sector, there would have been no need for me to stage a hunger strike for 15 times,” Dr KC told the Post.
To encourage public participation and engagement in the bill writing process, the supporters of Dr KC have urged the citizens to call or send texts to the committee members, inquiring about the bill and its content.
“We are still unsure if the bill will get passed as we have been cheated multiple times. The government will be applauded only when the bill gets endorsed from the Upper House without any changes mentioned in our demands,” said Dr KC.
Subcommittee meeting postponed
A subcommittee under the Education and Health Committee of Parliament failed to hold discussion on the Medical Education Bill due to busy schedule of Nepali Congress lawmakers. The subcommittee was supposed to meet on Sunday to discuss the bill.
Lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai said the meeting was deferred for November 25 as the Congress lawmakers involved in the sub-committee had to travel outside the Kathmandu Valley for party-related works.
Earlier, the subcommittee meeting scheduled for November 1 was also postponed due to lack of quorum. (PR)