Panel sets scholarship quota, fee ceiling

  • reforming med education
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
Panel sets scholarship quota, fee ceiling

Jul 8, 2015-

Public medical schools should raise their full scholarship quota to cover 50 percent of the total students, the Health Profession Education Policy drafted by the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led panel has recommended.

Currently, public medical schools offer limited scholarships to students. The Institute of Medicine under the Tribhuvan University provides scholarship to around 40 of the total 76 students enrolled. However, other public institutions, including the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences and Patan Academy of Health Sciences, provide limited scholarships.

The panel has recommended that the scholarship should be based on the merit list prepared by the Central Examination Body to be established under the Health Profession Education Commission. The commission will be authorised to arrange placement of students in various public medical schools.

Likewise, the panel has also proposed that students from rural areas should be given 10 percent additional marks during scholarship tests and special subsidy and grants should be allocated to public as well as private colleges for their smooth operation.

According to the draft policy, the central examination body will have to prepare at least 300 multiple-choice questions incorporating social and behavioural sciences such as Communications, Psychology and critical thinking.

The policy has also recommended that students scoring over 60 percent in the entrance test should be allowed to study MBBS course and promising students whose names are included on the merit list but cannot afford tuition fee should be provided study loan without collateral.

The policy also makes it mandatory for students going abroad for medical education to pass the common entrance test. At present, students can go abroad to study medical science after acquiring a letter from the Nepal Medical Council.

The policy has also set Rs 3.5 million as the maximum fee for MBBS, Rs 1.8 million for BDS programme and Rs 4 million for post-graduate medical courses. However, half of the students in post-graduate courses in private colleges should be given scholarship.

Under the scholarship, private colleges should enrol at least one student in each programme under the government bond. Such students after completing their education will be deputed by the government for a certain time period.

Likewise, the private institutions will be barred from charging any additional amount other than examination fee. These provisions, however, are likely to irk private institutions which have been charging as much as Rs 10 million per student in some post-graduate courses.

The panel has also made recommendation to enrol foreign students in only 50 percent seats in post-graduate courses. Currently, many private medical colleges are admitting foreign students, especially from India, because they can charge exorbitant fees. This is one of the reasons why many Nepali students to go abroad, such as China, for post-graduate studies.

Likewise, the policy also states that private medical colleges can run super specialisation courses, such as cardiology, neurology and gastroenterology, only after they have run post-graduate programmes for at least five years.

The panel has also proposed introduction of 17 new health professional programmes, including ophthalmic assistant, operation theatre technician, orthopaedic technician, health promotional counsellor, ENT assistants and speech therapists.

Recommendations

-    Scholarship quota for 50pc students

-     Central Examination Body for entrance tests

-     Study loans for promising students, grants for colleges

-    Entrance questions from social sciences as well

-    Mandatory common entrance for abroad study

-    Rs 3.4 million maximum fee for MBBS

-     Launch of 17 new professional courses

Published: 09-07-2015 07:44

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