Print Edition - 2015-04-01 | News
UML denies role in med education row
Mar 31, 2015-
Amid mounting criticism on the government for its failure to provide affiliation to medical colleges, the ruling CPN-UML has tried to shrug off its involvement in the case that has gripped the entire country these past weeks.
Promoted by UML leaders, Manamohan Memorial Institute of Health and Sciences (MMIHS) is amongst the medical colleges lobbying for affiliation to run a MBBS course under the Institute of Medicine (IoM) since the past two years.
Even though the UML leaders on Tuesday denied any institutional investment of the party in MMIHS, over two dozen of its party leaders are major shareholders of Manamohan Cooperative that operates the MMIHS.
For the past few months, there has been continuous pressure on the government from the UML leaders to lift the ban on medical college affiliation.
Succumbing to UML’s relentless pressure, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had directed the Education Ministry to start the process of giving affiliation to three medical colleges, including the MMIHS.
As Dr Govinda KC’s fast-unto-death protest entered the 10th day on Tuesday, UML’s second rung-leaders said that the party has been unnecessarily dragged into the controversy.
Stating that UML do not have the authority to grant affiliation, nor does the party ministers have the power to grant affiliation to medical colleges, they said that efforts to forcefully drag the party into controversy had wrong intentions.
“It is up to the government to decide on it. We are surprised why the media is trying to forcefully pull our party into controversy with Dr KC’s hunger strike,” UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali said at a press meet.
Last December, 146 UML lawmakers had submitted a written memorandum to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, asking his government to lift the ban on medical college affiliation.
The Parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, Elderly Citizens and Social Welfare on December 29, 2014 then directed the Education Ministry to allow medical and engineering colleges that have acquired the Letter of Intent (LoI) to operate. UML lawmaker Ranju Jha is the chairperson of the committee.
Rajendra Pandey, a party lawmaker from Dhading, heads the Manmohan Institute. Apart from Pandey, 25 other leaders from the party, including Madhav Kumar Nepal, Bamsidhar Mishra, Srimaya Thakali, Prakash Jwala and Mahendra Raj Pandey are prime shareholders of Manmohan Cooperative. Pandey and Mishra have been publicly blaming Dr KC behind MMIHS not getting the IoM affiliation. UML Spokesperson Yogesh Bhattarai, however, denied the allegations.
“Neither has our party invested in the hospital nor have we exerted pressure on the government. The affiliation should be granted as per national need.” he said.
“Mafias have largely been involved in whether to grant affiliation to medical colleges. The medical sector should be saved from these people,” Bhattarai added.
Meanwhile, UML Deputy General Secretary Ghanshyam Bhusal and Secretary Bhattarai visited the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital on Tuesday to extend their support to Dr KC’s protest.
Published: 01-04-2015 08:39