Print Edition - 2018-02-19  |  SILVER LININGS

The greater good

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Feb 19, 2018-

Alongside pioneering open heart surgery in Nepal, Dr Bhagawan Koirala’s work has helped to re-instill faith in public institutions. Dr Koirala played a key role in setting up the Gangalal National Heart Centre, and in establishing the  Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Center (MCVTC).


As executive director at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) in 2014, he was also able to bring the once debt-ridden institution to financial stability.  “There is a fallacy in public institutions that we are short of resources. This is only partially true. In a majority of these hospitals and bigger institutions, the issue is with understanding how to efficiently allocate resources,” Dr Koirala said about the feat. In recent years, Dr Koirala has shifted his attention to the quality of medical education. Following multiple protests by Dr Govinda KC, Dr Koirala has been a part of the team that drafted the policy for health profession education and the Act of Health Profession Education Commission.  “I have always focused on strengthening the public healthcare system, especially hospitals. Given the sad reality that people seek healthcare at the later stages of their ailments, it is essential to save lives once they arrive at the hospital,” said Dr Koirala.

On November 2014, in response to Dr KC’s hunger strikes, the government formed a taskforce to draft the medical education policy which included Dr Koirala. On June 29, 2015, the committee submitted the Health Profession Education (HPE) Policy. This document originally proposed that no medical college be set up inside the Valley for next 10 years. It also set a fee of Rs3.5 million for the MBBS course. 

However, the policy was not enough to regulate the medical education sector—new litigation was necessary to grant full-fledged authority to the HPE Commission. Dr Koirala continues to be a fierce advocate for medical reform and along with practicing medicine,  he has also written a book that  is slated for publication soon. 

— Manish Gautam

Published: 19-02-2018 12:32

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