National’s Ghattekulo hospital run illegally

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Aug 23, 2017-The Kathmandu National Medical College, which the Tribhuvan University recently permitted to run an MBBS programme, is found to have been running its teaching hospital illegally in Ghattekulo. 

In a multi-storey building, the college runs the hospital without getting approval from the Health Ministry. The National applied for approval on July 30, after it was affiliated by the TU Executive Council on July 27.

“The hospital run by National is illegal. They should mandatorily have our approval before running the hospital,” said Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha, chief of the Curative Service Division that grants operation permits to big health facilities.

Dr Shrestha said although the National had applied for approval three times, the applications were immediately rejected because the hospital failed to furnish some major documents including the recommendations of the Kathmandu Public Health Office and the local government, and an environmental impact assessment. Also, the building lacks proof of seismic resistance, approval from the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, and property insurance.

According to the ministry, the National first applied for permission on August 1, 2011. Immediately, the Health Ministry wrote to the promoters stating that their documentation was incomplete. The college approached the ministry on May 11, 2014 again, only to be returned for the same reason.

A committee led by Dr Karbir Nath Yogi, professor at the TU Institute of Medicine, had submitted an inspection report in 2013, recommending affiliation for the college. It is now clear that the team inspected an illegal institution and furnished recommendations on ad-hoc basis. The committee faced intense criticism recently after revelation that the TU affiliation was based on the fake inspection report that listed non-existent infrastructure and services.

The college is an extension of the Birgunj-based National Medical College, owned by Basruddin Ansari.

‘Permitted’ by Edu Ministry

In a clear breach of jurisdiction, the Education Ministry is found to have granted the hospital operation approval. The documents presented by the National College to the Health Ministry show that the Education Ministry issued permission on June 22, 2012 to run a 300-bed hospital.

Panel to probe developments

The Health Ministry on Tuesday formed a probe panel to look into the controversy surrounding the Ghattekulo-based college. A ministerial level decision formed the panel to inspect the college following reports that the TU Executive Council affiliated the dysfunctional institution.

The eight-member team has Dipendra Raman Singh, Gunaraj Lohani, Bholaram Shrestha, Narayan Dhakal, Runa Jha, Swoyam Prakash Pandit, Kabita Aryal and Bhawanath Khatiwada.

The ministry has asked the committee to furnish its report within a week. The committee is tasked with examining if the hospital has fulfilled the due procedure for running a medical school.

Published: 23-08-2017 07:37

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