Capital

Govt decides to issue ordinance

  • Medical education reforms
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Oct 24, 2017-The Cabinet on Monday decided to introduce an ordinance to enact a new law incorporating the provisions of the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill which could not get through Parliament earlier despite repeated calls by Dr Govinda KC who has been calling for major reforms in the medical education sector.

Monday’s decision comes in line with the government’s promise on Wednesday to address Dr KC’s demands through an ordinance. Dr KC on Wednesday broke his 13th hunger strike after 14 days after the government promise.

Dr KC had been demanding that the HPE Bill be amended in line with recommendations made by a team of experts led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema and endorsed through Parliament. The bill called for putting a moratorium on establishing new medical institutions in Kathmandu Valley for the next 10 years. Since this provision could have affected some institutions backed by a handful of people, especially some CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) members, the two parties prevented the government from tabling the bill in Parliament, which was dissolved on October 14.

Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Basnet, who is also the government spokesperson, confirmed the Cabinet decision to introduce the ordinance, which now needs to be authenticated by President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

President Bhandari’s personal assistant Bhes Raj Adhikari, however, said the Office of the President was yet to receive the health education reforms ordinance.

Monday’s Cabinet move though has been hailed as a milestone, for it means half the battle won, “there is still a long way to go”, said Gagan Thapa, a former lawmaker from the Nepali Congress, who played a crucial role in brokering a deal between the government and Dr KC’s representatives. The ordinance must be passed within 60 days of the first meeting of Parliament, which will be elected after the polls scheduled for November 26 and December 7.

“All the efforts made so far will go down the drain if the new government that will be formed after the elections does not favour the reforms in the medical education sector,” said Thapa, also a former health minister.

The law paves the way for the formation of a powerful Health Profession Education Commission that will function as an overarching framework to regulate the medical education sector in the country.

Published: 24-10-2017 08:24

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