Panel recommends tightening screws on medical colleges

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Jul 7, 2015-

The committee led by former TU vice-chancellor Kedar Bhakta Mathema, which drafted the Health Profession Education Policy, has tightened screws on the opening  of new medical colleges.

Clause 2 of the 110-page report, to which the Post was granted an exclusive access, details issues related to new affiliation with strict requirements before any university could provide affiliation or run its own medical schools.

Sub-clause 2.7 of the policy states that from now on no university will be allowed to provide affiliation to more than five medical colleges. “This policy will not be applicable to universities that have already provided affiliations,” states the report which also proposes that no university can provide affiliation if they do not have their own medical college.

The Kathmandu University, during its primitive years, had provided affiliation to medical colleges despite not having medical school of its own. As per Sub-clause 2.12, a university can grant affiliation to colleges only within its own region.

For instance, if Purbanchal University opens its own undergraduate medical course then it can provide affiliation to only five colleges in five districts in the eastern development region.    

While limiting the number of affiliations, the report states that only one medical college can be established in one district. However, the document does not speak much about the central region as to how medical colleges will be made more equitable in the districts of the region.

“Only those hospitals outside Kathmandu Valley that have been functional for at least three years shall be granted Letter of Intent (LoI) to run medical courses after thorough assessment by the Ministry of Health and Population,” the document says.

But such affiliated colleges can admit only 100 students in the MBBS programme and 50 students in the dental programme, with the committee fixing the fees at Rs 3.5 million and Rs 1.8 million for the respective programmes.  

According to the report, the Letter of Intent (LoI) will not be issued to any hospitals in Kathmandu Valley for any of the undergraduate courses, including MBBS, Dentistry and Nursing for the next 10 years.

As for the colleges that had been granted the LoI in the past with required infrastructure, the Clause 2.3.1 of the policy states that the college owners may sell the property to the government. The preceding Clause 2.3.2 states that the government should promote other institutions to go to the colleges. “It can provide tax waiver, provide land on lease and others,” the report states.    

The committee has also recommended stringent provisions for academic performance and standards. The Clause 2.14 of the report states that any medical college that fails to maintain the pass rate of at least 75 percent in two consecutive examinations will be deaffiliated. “In such case, the affiliating university should be responsible for relocating the affected students to other medical schools,” the report says, while suggesting for a merger of colleges that could not meet the required standards.

Cleaning up medical education sector

- No new Letters of Intent to be issued for MBBS, dentistry or nursing programme for 10 years in Kathmandu Valley

- Universities without own medical school cannot grant affiliations

- One varsity to provide affiliation to only 5 colleges; one in a district

- Maximum MBBS enrolment 100; dentistry 50

- Varsities can provide affiliation only within their geographical region

- Hospitals can teach medical courses only after operation for three years

- Rs 3.5 million fee limit for MBBS, Rs 1.8 million for dentistry

- De-affiliation if a medical school fails to maintain 75 percent pass rate in two consecutive exams

Published: 08-07-2015 07:42

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