House endorses HPE Ordinance

- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu

Apr 4, 2018-

The House of Representatives on Tuesday endorsed the Health Profession Education Act that the President had promulgated as an ordinance, barring establishment of new medical schools in Kathmandu Valley for a decade.

 

Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel had forwarded the ordinance to Parliament on March 28 for endorsement. CPN-UML lawmakers, who vehemently opposed the law in the past, backed the ordinance. An ordinance needs parliamentary approval within 60 days of its first meeting to remain in effect.

 

UML and CPN (Maoist Centre) lawmakers had opposed the HPE Bill as it would bar establishment of two medical colleges—Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Kathmandu and the Birtamod-based B & C Hospital, which have been lobbying for years to get affiliation. The MMIHS is promoted by UML lawmakers while Maoist leaders have stakes in the B & C.

 

Endorsement of the law also clears the way for full-fledged functioning of the Health Profession Education Commission. The HPEC, envisaged in the HPE Act as an overarching framework to regulate medical education, among other things, oversees central examinations of medical sciences such as medicine, nursing and other allied courses.

 

Under the law, universities are not allowed to affiliate any private medical college as an extension of their programme. A hospital not operational for three years is ineligible to apply for affiliation as a medical college.

 

The Act also tightens the grip on universities authorised to affiliate colleges. A varsity needs its own medical college and full-fledged hospital to run medical courses.

“This is a positive move,” said Dr Bhagawan Koirala, whose team had drafted the HPE Bill. 

 

The Act was formulated as demanded by Dr Govinda KC, who has been fighting for reforms in the country’s medical education sector, in line with the recommendations of a team of experts led by educationist Kedar Bhakta Mathema.

Published: 04-04-2018 08:07

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