Dr KC begins another fast

- Post Report, Kathmandu
This is the seventh strike by the surgeon who has been demanding reforms in the country’s medical education sector

Sep 20, 2015-Only three weeks after ending his protest, senior orthopaedic surgeon at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital Dr Govinda KC has begun another round of fast-unto-death from Saturday.

Dr KC is ‘against the changes made by Cabinet while implementing agreements reached.’ This is the seventh strike by the surgeon who has been demanding reforms in the country’s medical sector.

Dr KC had been expressing reservations over the chairperson of the Health Profession Education Commission. The meeting of the Social Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, had picked Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav as the commission’s chairperson. This appointment is against the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led Health Profession Education Policy recommendation to pick prime minister as the chairperson of the commission--the highest regulatory body.

“The Prime Minister should lead the commission. That is what we had agreed upon,” said Dr KC.

Dr KC had on Friday given a 24-hour ultimatum for the government to revise its decision. The Cabinet meeting had appointed Dr Jagdish Prasad Agrawal as the vice-chairperson of the commission, an overarching regulatory body that is expected to bring radical reforms in medical education. The government agreed to put a ceiling of Rs 3.5 million in MBBS education which will be revised in a year. Once the revision is made, the fee ceiling will undergo changes based on inflation of Nepal Rastra Bank every two years.

The government had also decided to decrease medical seats—gradually from 150 to 135 then to 115 before limiting it to 100 seats over the next three years. The commission has been asked to develop Health Profession Education Act within next three months.

While a majority of the demands of Dr KC has been fulfilled, he said the complete ‘political smell’ in selecting members will once again invite the same political meddling in institutions.

Published: 20-09-2015 09:04

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