President holds HPE Ordinance

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 7, 2017-

The President’s Office has been holding the Health Profession Education (HPE) Ordinance sent by the government for endorsement.

More than two weeks after the government forwarded the HPE Ordinance, President Bidya Devi Bhandari is yet to sign it into law. The government on October 23 decided to introduce the ordinance to enact a new law incorporating the provisions of the HPE Bill. The bill could not get through Parliament earlier despite repeated calls by Dr Govinda KC, who has been calling for major reforms in the medical education sector. Following the Cabinet decision, it was immediately sent to the President’s Office.

Dr KC on Monday served one week’s ultimatum to endorse the ordinance. “Putting the ordinance on hold has sent a message across that the President is still serving the interests of some parties,” said Dr KC.

If the ordinance is not authenticated in the next week, he warned of staging another hunger strike. The ordinance puts a moratorium on establishing new medical institutions in Kathmandu Valley for the next 10 years. Since this provision could have affected some institutions backed by a handful of people, especially some CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) members, the two parties prevented the government from tabling the bill in Parliament, which was dissolved on October 14.

Bhesh Raj Adhikari, personal secretary to the President, said the head of state was studying the ordinance. According to the constitution, the President can take some time to study any bills, Adhikari said. The President can take a maximum of 15 days to study a bill forwarded to her for authentication, he said, but the provision for ordinance is not clear.

He presented no exact reason for the delay but denied that the President was holding consultations with political leaders or medical experts.

Published: 07-11-2017 07:20

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