Capital

2 med schools to be affiliated before ban on new colleges

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Aug 8, 2017-The parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Social Welfare and Elderly Citizens is close to an agreement on granting affiliations to medical colleges that meet the criteria prior to imposing a 10-year moratorium on new schools in the Valley.

A marathon meeting of a taskforce under the House committee agreed in principle to enforce the ban on opening new medical colleges within Kathmandu Valley only after granting affiliations to the colleges that have the infrastructure and human resource for imparting medical education.

After serious reservations from lawmakers, mostly from the CPN-UML, the taskforce reached a compromise of imposing the ban only after affiliating the colleges ready to run medical education courses. This will directly benefit the Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (MMIHS) owned by UML lawmakers and the Birtamod-based B&C Hospital, in which CPN (Maoist Centre) leaders have their stakes. Senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC has been protesting against affiliations for these two medical colleges.

 “The decisions will be compiled and tabled in the full committee,” said a member of the taskforce. The seven-member team led by Ranju Jha, chairperson of the House panel, was formed to find an agreement in the Health Profession Education Bill that attracted 276 amendments proposals.

As many as 54 lawmakers registered the amendments to 51 clauses of the bill, a majority of them demanding scrapping of Clause 12 that relates to the ban. They also stand against the mandatory provision in Clause 13, which requires a 300-bed hospital to run a medical school.

As many as 21 lawmakers, mainly from the main opposition, had filed amendments seeking to scrap Clause 12. UML lawmakers including Rajendra Pandey and Dr Banshidhar Mishra, who have stakes in the MMIHS, had proposed the amendments.

“There was no possibility of reaching an agreement without opening the door for affiliation to the colleges in the pipeline,” said another member of the committee representing the Nepali Congress, without naming the MMIHS and the B&C.

The bill needs a simple majority in its favour in the House to come into effect.

Published: 08-08-2017 08:28

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