UML, Maoist Centre MPs block HPE Bill

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Government aborted its plan of tabling the bill after the UML and Maoist Centre warned of House obstruction

Oct 13, 2017-The Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill could not be tabled in Parliament on Thursday after the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) objected to it.

After the Ministry of Education on Wednesday agreed to amend the bill in line with the demand of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on a hunger strike calling for major reforms in the medical education sector for the last eight days, the government had said it would table it in Parliament on Thursday.

One of the demands of Dr KC is endorsing the HPE Bill at the earliest with an amendment that ensures a ban on establishing new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley for the next 10 years.

After UML and Maoist Centre lawmakers warned of obstructing the House, the government aborted its plan of tabling the bill. 

If the bill is endorsed as per Dr KC’s demand of banning new medical colleges in the Valley, a handful of institutions backed by UML and Maoist Centre leaders will be affected. 

The original HPE Bill, which was drafted as per the recommendations of a team of experts was tweaked by a parliamentary committee, much to the chagrin of Dr KC and all those who are pressing for major reforms in the medical education sector.

Dr KC launched his 13th fast-unto-death eight days ago demanding that the HPE Bill be amended again so that a ban can be imposed on establishing new medical colleges in the Valley for 10 years. 

Earlier on Thursday, Speaker Onasari Gharti Magar held a meeting with chief whips of the Nepali Congress, UML and Maoist Centre in the presence of Minister for Education Gopal Man Shrestha. Some parliamentarians were also present. 

During the meeting, the UML and Maoist Centre said that they will not allow the government to table the bill in Parliament. 

“They said the bill either be sent back to the parliamentary committee or endorsed as per the changes made by the committee,” a leader present in the meeting told the Post seeking anonymity. “They said they will not accept any fresh changes.” 

NC leader and former health minister Gagan Thapa said it is too inconsiderate of the UML and the Maoist Centre to not let the government table the bill. 

“This is not acceptable. [They should] let Parliament decide the fate of the bill,” said Thapa.

 

Dr KC urges Speaker to use special powers

KATHMANDU: Dr Govinda KC has urged Speaker Onasari Gharti Magar to use her special powers to get the Health Profession Education (HPE) Bill endorsed before Parliament is dissolved in about a week if not Friday. Organising a press meet on the eighth day of his fast-unto-death on Thursday, Dr KC said that “our attention has been drawn to the activities of core leaders of some political parties who are hatching a conspiracy to defeat the bill.” “If Speaker Magar is in favour of reforms in the medical education sector, she should use her special powers to move the HPE Bill forward,” said Dr KC. In a statement, Dr KC has said lawmakers are trying to snatch away people’s right to quality health services and quality medical education. (PR)

Published: 13-10-2017 07:30

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