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‘We won’t agree with just deals’

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Aug 30, 2015- Dr Govinda KC’s hunger for an end to political meddling in universities and reforms in medical education entered sixth-day on Saturday as health of the orthopaedics professor is deteriorating steadily.
Dr KC, who has been pressing the government to implement all the past agreements reached with him, has begun complaining of headache, dizziness but remains determined to not deter away from his protest.
“We won’t agree with mere agreements this time. We want all demands to be fulfilled,” he said, speaking to the Post. This is the fifth time Dr KC is on protest apparently owing to the government’s repeated failure to take measures to reform medical education in the country.
While the government formed Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led committee to draft Health Profession Education Policy (HPEP) and recommend reform measures, the report has not been implemented. With much delay, a sub-committee was formed to come up with action plan on the report’s recommendation and the committee headed by National Planning Commission Member Yagya Bahadur Karki, however, truncated major reform
measures on fee structure and student intakes for MBBS courses.
The HPEP has limited the MBBS fees to Rs 3.5 million, the number of seats to 100 per medical college and no licence for medical college inside Kathmandu Valley for the next 10 years.
With the protest, anger is brewing among medical students in Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, a major government health centre that caters to the need of over 3,000 people daily. MBBS and post-graduate students have warned of quitting their services if the government remains non-committal to KC’s demands.
On Friday, undergraduate students decided to skip all their academic classes until the protest of Dr KC is resolved. On Saturday, students and doctors submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister urging him to fulfil demands of the Dr KC.

Mathema-Committee members meet PM  
Amidst the warning of Mathema-Committee members to ‘protest’ if the report is not implemented, five among the six members met with PM Koirala on Friday.
The committee members also submitted a letter to PM Koirala that apparently expresses dissatisfaction over the action plan on the report implementation of the government. The letter states that the action plan ignores the main thrust of the report-quality and equity while also remaining silent on fees for MBBS students.
“He has assured to do his best,” said a doctor who was in the meeting.

Demands
Cabinet decision to implement Mathema panel’s recommendations.
Establish a commission to select office bearers in universities.
Investigate forgery of affiliations, total seats, patients and faculties and take against those who are found guilty.
Investigate on deeds of Education Minister who breached past deals.
Implement past agreements, including free post-graduate medical education, halting the affiliation of KU among others.
Appoint office bearers of Nepal Medical Council, Nepal Health Research Council and others based on meritocracy.
Take action against officials who found guilty by Jaya Ram Giri report.
Take necessary measures to manage students of Janaki Medical College where classes have been shut for past one year.

Published: 30-08-2015 08:46

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