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Govt, Dr KC reach 11-pt deal

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Sep 5, 2015-The government and agitating Prof Dr Govinda KC reached an 11-point agreement on Saturday night, setting the tone for the formation of a Health Profession Education Commission.

The deal between Dr KC and government representatives Vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission Govind Pokhrel, and Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi will also end the ongoing strikes launched by resident doctors across the country in support of the fasting doctor. “Reform takes a long time. We have found an amicable solution to the demands of Dr KC,” said Dr Pokhrel, speaking to the Post after the agreement. And Subedi added, “The agreement is self explanatory. We don’t need to elaborate anything.”

Following the agreement, doctors involved in his treatment said that he would end the fast around 3pm on Sunday.

As per the deal, the first meeting of the Cabinet will form a Health Profession Education Commission and pick its vice-chairman to lead the new regulatory body. The government has also agreed not to renew the LoI of the institutions waiting for affiliation to run MBBS classes in Kathmandu. This has effectively put a lid on some medical colleges owned by political leaders, including Manmohan Medical College of CPN-UML lawmaker Rajendra Pandey and Ghattekulo-based National Medical College, owned by UCPN (Maoist) Basruddin Ansari.

The deal also includes decreasing medical seats—gradually from 150 to 135 then to 115 before limiting it to 100 seats over the next three years—and set the fee ceiling at Rs3.5 million as envisioned by Health Profession Education Policy drafted by a committee led by former TU vice-chancellor Kedar Bhakta Mathema. The fee structure could, however, be revised in every two years based on the inflation and a decision by the faculty board.

Similarly, a new probe commission will be formed to look into abuse of authority in TU and KU in the past and initiate actions against those found guilty. It will write to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority to probe the cases of Birat and Dev Daha Medical colleges which were granted affiliation discreetly.

The agreement

1)    Form Health Profession Education Commission in the next Cabinet meeting. This Commission will  

    (a) Formulate Health Profession Policy; (b) Will not renew LoI of Medical Nursing and Dental colleges inside Kathmandu Valley;

(c) Gradually decrease the MBBS seats to 135 then 115 and 100 in next three years; (d) Set Rs 3.5 million fee ceiling for MBBS course; (e) Foreigners should also sit for common entrance examination. For Nepali students they should mandatorily sit for the common entrance before obtaining No Objection Letter and Eligibility Certificate from Ministry of Education and Nepal Medical Council

2)    Form a legal commission to probe abuse of authority in KU and TU

3)    Form a ‘search’ committee without political representation to appoint office bearers in universities and other health councils.

4)    Make the Post-Graduate education free and implement it from this session

5)    Take action against owners of Janaki Medical College and properly manage students

6)    Government medical college should have 50 percent free seats that should be eventually increased up to 75 percent

7)    The government should probe into the extended programme of Dev Daha and Birat Medical College and take action against KU officials.

8)    Halt the process of establishing Medical University

9)    The ratio of government to private medical colleges should be at least at 1:3

10)    Dispatch a letter to KU stating the representation of professors in KU senate.

11)    All the above mentioned agreements will remain accordingly, while the rest will be implemented from the action plan endorsed by the Cabinet

Published: 2015-09-06

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