Med edu bill tabled after govt commits to deal

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 28, 2018-

After two weeks of bickering, the National Medical Education Bill was presented to the House of Representatives on Friday after the government assured the opposition of executing the nine-point agreement it reached with the fasting Dr Govinda KC through amendment.

The Nepali Congress had been obstructing the federal parliament pressing the concerns of the agitating doctor. It wanted the bill withdrawn and the provisions that Dr KC objected to omitted. The agreement that the government signed with Dr KC, who had been on a 27-day long indefinite fast, on Thursday night requires amendments to the bill. No sooner had the House meeting commenced than the NC demanded information about the nine-point deal and guarantee of its implementation.

The opposition party was adamant on not letting the meeting proceed before getting official information about the deal. They wanted the agreement to be the “property of the House” arguing that when lawmakers are formally informed about it, the government is obliged to implement its provisions.

“We learnt about the deal from the media. The government must provide us with a copy before the House takes up other agenda,” NC Chief Whip Balkrishna Khad demanded, prompting Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara to adjourn the meeting for 10 minutes to arrange for copies of the agreement.

Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel had earlier submitted a copy of the agreement to the House. “The Cabinet has to first endorse it after some study,” he told the House, saying that provisions of the agreement would be incorporated in the bill through amendment. Opposition lawmakers warned of fresh agitation if the government did not implement all the points of the agreement.

Imposing a 10-year moratorium on new medical colleges in Kathmandu Valley, barring one university from granting more than five medical college affiliations and making it mandatory for a medical school to have a hospital operational for at least three years to get university affiliation are the major components of Dr KC’s demand to be addressed by the medical education law.

The Lower House will set a 72-hour deadline on Sunday for lawmakers to propose amendments to the bill. The agreement will also be presented as an amendment.

The House will discuss both the bill and the amendment proposals before approving it. It will then be tabled in the National Assembly to follow the same process before the President signs it into law.

Published: 28-07-2018 07:32

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