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Dr KC: Govt decision is against Mathema report

  • Health profession education policy
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Sep 3, 2015-

Despite claims from the government that demands of Dr Govinda KC have been fulfilled, the fasting doctor on Wednesday said that the government was taking “wrong route to provide affiliations to medical colleges owned by political players”.

A senior orthopaedican and professor at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Dr KC was referring to Tuesday’s decision of the Social Committee of the Cabinet to evaluate the progress reports and infrastructure standards of the colleges that have already received the letter of intent before deciding whether to issue them the operating licence to run MBBS programme. This, many including Dr KC, believe is a new ploy of the government to provide affiliations to Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, National Medical College and People’s Dental College.

The Manmohan Institute has investment from CPN-UML leaders while the party’s lawmaker Rajendra Pandey is its chairman. Similarly, the National Medical College is an extension of the Birgunj-based National Medical College promoted by UCPN (Maoist) loyalist Basaruddhin Ansari and People’s Dental College is run by Sunil Sharma, who is close to the Maoist party too. The three colleges have been lobbying for the past two years to acquire affiliation from the Tribhuvan University.

The report on Health Profession Education Policy drafted by a team led by former TU vice chancellor Kedar Bhakta Mathema has stated that colleges awaiting affiliation to run medical classes should either be moved out of Kathmandu Valley or handed over to the government.

Based on the decisions taken by the Social Committee of the Cabinet, the government on Wednesday claimed that a majority of Dr KC’s demands were addressed, including not issuing letter of intent to new medical colleges inside Kathmandu Valley for 10 years and agreeing at the fee ceiling of Rs 3.5 million.

Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi met with Dr KC and briefed him about the decisions made so far by the government. Subedi told Dr KC that they had done their best to fulfil his demands.

In response, Dr KC told Subedi that his protest was for the much-needed reforms in the country’s medical sector which was not possible unless the government implements the Mathema report word for word.

The report has made many recommendations, including withholding operating licence to run medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley for 10 years. It has also recommended the government to open new medical colleges in areas outside the Valley.

Meanwhile, the Association of Private Medical and Dental Colleges has started lobbying to stall the implementation of the policy. The association has submitted a memorandum to Education Minister ChitraLekha Yadav, threatening to take to streets if the policy is implemented.

Dr Suresh Kanodiya, acting presiddent of the association, said if the policy is implemented their institutions will collapse and the government should be ready to take over their medical schools.

“The government is trying to impose rules that will put the investments of medical colleges at risk,” said Dr Kanodiya.

As Dr KC’s hunger strike entered its 10th day on Wednesday, his supporters took out a rally in the Capital demanding immediate implementation of the Mathema report. Medical students, doctors and members of the public marched on the streets to show their solidarity to Dr KC and to press the government to fulfil his demands.

Published: 03-09-2015 08:21

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