Talks between govt panel and Dr KC ‘positive’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 29, 2017-

A talks team formed by the government to address Dr Govinda KC’s demands pledged on Friday to come up with a “concrete plan” to endorse the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill.

The government formed the dialogue team led by Education Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha on Thursday, on the fourth day of Dr KC’s 11th hunger strike.

Endorsing the HPE Bill is the key demand of Dr KC, who for the last many years has been pressing for reforms in the country’s medical education sector. 

Shrestha said that talks on Friday were “very positive” and that “we are expecting an agreement very soon”. The government team and Dr KC and his representatives are scheduled to hold talks on Saturday as well. 

During Friday’s talks, which lasted three hours, both the sides dwelt on ways to address Dr KC’s demands, mainly the endorsement of the HPE Bill, in the spirit of a draft prepared by a team of experts led by former Tribhuvan University vice chancellor Kedar Bhakta Mathema.

The HPE Bill, which was tabled in Parliament in September last year, is stuck in the Parliamentary Committee on Women, Children and Social Welfare. A total of 276 proposals have been registered seeking amendments to at least 

51 clauses of the Bill, making its endorsement a complex process. 

According to Dr YP Singh, who represented Dr KC in Friday’s dialogue, the government panel “is positive” about addressing the fasting surgeon’s majority of concerns.

“As endorsement of the HPE Bill is purely Parliament’s business, the government panel told us that it would consult the education minister as well as other leaders and come up with a concrete plan,” Dr Singh told the Post. 

Dr KC’s representatives have asked the government side to fast-track the HPE Bill endorsement. 

One of the provisions of the HPE Bill seeks to put a moratorium of 10 years on establishing medical colleges in the Valley. Similarly, the Bill also calls for setting a mechanism to set fee structure for medical education, so as to stop private medical colleges from charging exorbitant amount of money from students. 

Published: 29-07-2017 07:07

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